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Folate deficiency

  • Alternative Names

    Deficiency - folic acid, Folic acid deficiency


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    Expectations (prognosis)


    Anemia (low red blood cell count) and, in severe cases, low levels of white blood cells and platelets are complications. In folate-deficiency anemia, the red blood cells are abnormally large.

    Folic acid is also needed for the development of a healthy fetus. It plays an important part in the development of the fetus' spinal cord and brain. Folic acid deficiency can cause severe birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects.

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