Cost Savings of Spina Bifida Prevention

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a new study looking at the costs associated with a United States requirement that folic acid (a B vitamin) be added to all cereal grain products labeled as enriched (also called folic acid fortification). In this study, CDC researchers found that after folic acid fortification, an estimated 600-700 babies are born each year without spina bifida (a severe birth defect of the spine), who would have otherwise been affected were it not for fortification. They also estimated that the amount of money saved as a result of the fortification policy (also called cost savings) is around $400 million to $600 million dollars every year in the United States. These estimates can be useful to decision makers in other countries who are considering folic acid fortification. To learn more, we invite you to read a summary of the key findings or read the abstract of the article.

What You Can Do

Spread the word! We encourage you to share these links with your colleagues and friends.  Feel free to post them on your own home page as well.

Retweet messages from @CDC_NCBDDD:

  • Folic acid fortification not only saves babies, but saves hundreds of millions of dollars each year. New study:
  • Spina bifida prevention through folic acid fortification saves babies & associated costs.

Other sample messages:

  • Folic acid fortification has led to 600-700 babies born without spina bifida each year. New study from @CDC_NCBDDD.
  • New CDC study shows folic acid fortification not only prevents spina bifida but is cost-saving in the U.S.


CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is committed to identifying the causes of birth defects, finding opportunities to prevent them, and improving the health of those living with birth defects.  On behalf of CDC, we thank you for your continued support and your promotion of CDC’s activities related to birth defects.

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