Status: Baseline only

Baseline only

Most Recent Data:
82.6 percent (2013-16)

86.2 percent

Desired Direction:
Increase desired

82.6 percent of non-pregnant women aged 15 to 44 years had optimal red blood cell folate concentrations in 2013-16

Increase the proportion of women of childbearing age who have optimal red blood cell folate concentrations

Target-Setting Method
Percentage point improvement


Getting enough folic acid through food or supplements during pregnancy can protect infants from neural tube defects, like spina bifida. The concentration of folate in a woman’s red blood cells shows whether she’s getting enough folic acid. Nationwide efforts to add folic acid to cereal grain products have helped reduce neural tube defects, and more recent efforts to add it to corn masa flour may have the same effect.