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Alere Partners with Spina Bifida Association to Sponsor Education During October, Spina Bifida Awareness Month

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alere Health, LLC, a company that offers best-in-class health management services, today announced collaboration with the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) to provide education about the birth defect throughout the month of October, which traditionally has been dedicated to raising Spina Bifida awareness.

Every day in the United States, approximately eight babies are delivered with Spina Bifida, which is a neural tube defect (NTD) that leads to the incomplete development of the brain or spinal cord, as well as their protective coverings. The condition is permanently disabling and caused by failure of the fetus' spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. Of the birth defects observed in the U.S., Spina Bifida is the most common, impacting one in every 4,000 births.1

Research indicates that women who take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily prior to and during the first three months of pregnancy can reduce the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%. While NTDs are among the few birth defects that can be prevented, recent evidence suggests that not all women metabolize folic acid in the same way. Women with a previous NTD-affected pregnancy or taking anticonvulsant medications are considered “high risk” and should take a larger dose of folic acid, in the amount of 4mg/day.

During the month of October, Alere and the SBA will collaborate to provide the greatest outreach possible by partnering with consumer websites like Pregnancy.org and several social media outlets. The organizations have developed a campaign that will focus on increasing awareness of Spina Bifida and the importance of folic acid intake prior to and in the early weeks of pregnancy. Alere and SBA are honored to be able to support individuals and families affected by Spina Bifida.

About Alere

Alere Health is the health management services business of Alere Inc. Alere, a Latin verb meaning “to care for” or “to support,” offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere provides health interventions that cover an individual’s entire lifespan, from pre-cradle to end-of-life care, and the company’s services range from wellness and prevention to the total health management of individuals with chronic illnesses. Alere’s continuum of services begins with preconception, pregnancy, NICU and first year of life; it continues with lifelong programs focused on health, wellness, the management of such conditions as heart failure, COPD, and asthma, and the complex management required for end-of-life care. For more information visit www.alere.com.

About Spina Bifida Association (SBA)

The Spina Bifida Association (SBA) serves adults and children who live with the challenges of Spina Bifida. Since 1973, SBA has been the only national voluntary health agency solely dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with Spina Bifida and those whose lives are touched by this challenging birth defect. Its tools are education, advocacy, research, and service.

Through its network of Chapters, SBA has a presence in more than 125 communities nationwide and touches thousands of people each year. Lives are changed by the programs SBA has created, the services provided, and the results of our advocacy efforts. For more information visit www.spinabifidaassociation.org.

1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Neural tube defects. National Guideline Clearinghouse. Accessed Sept 2012: www.guideline.gov/content

McClure Media Group
Jan McClure, 770-559-1016
janm@mccluremedia.com

Source: Alere Health, LLC