Significant reduction neural tube defects in north Jordan

Scientists in Jordan have studied the effect of Folic Acid fortification on the incidence of neural tube defects in Jordan. Professor Zouhair O. Amarin and Ahmed Z. Obeidat held their research at the Princess Badea Hospital in the north of Jordan, before and after the national food fortification with Folic Acid was implemented. Between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2006 they retrospectively extracted the total number of births at the hospital, as well as the number of pregnancies affected by Spina Bifida and Anencephaly per 1000 births during this period. A total of 78 infants with neural tube defects were recorded among 61 447 births during the study period. The difference between incidence of neural tube defects in the periods before and after food fortification with folic acid was statistically significant. Their research showed a 49% decline in the rate of neural tube defects. Source: Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, volume 24 Issue 4, pages 349-351, July 2010.
The incidence of neural tube defects in north Jordan decreased from 1.85 per 1000 births from before to 0.95 after full Folic Acid fortification, a 49% reduction

Chinese study pregnancy planning and primary preventive measures

Measures for prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) have been recommended for many years in China, but the compliance with these measures is unsatisfactory. A 1:1 matched case-control study was conducted between 349 women who had been pregnant with a child with an NTD in the last two years in two provinces and 349 women who delivered babies without obvious birth defects as controls. In the group with NTD affected pregnancies, only 28,4% had planned their pregnancy and just 8,6% took Folic Acid prior to conception. In both groups, those who did plan their pregnancy were much more likely to have preconception examinations and to report Folic Acid intake. The researchers conclude that Folic Acid consumption prior to conception, preconception examinations, and health education have preventive effects on NTDs.
Pregnancy planning can significantly promote compliance with primary preventive behaviors

Prevalence study Spina Bifida among children and adolescent in the US

The CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta initiated a first study to provide population-based estimates of the prevalence of Spina Bifida among children and adolescents in 10 diverse regions in the United States. The study also examined variations in prevalence of Spina Bifida among children, according to age group, race/ethnicity, and gender. The overall prevalence of Spina Bifida among children and adolescents 0 to 19 years of age was 3,1 cases per 10000, which represents about 24860 children and adolescents living with Spina Bifida in the United States in 2002. These estimates could be useful for determining the need for local and regional resources to address the long-term care needs of those born with Spina Bifida.
Across all the racial or ethnic groups, spina bifida affected more girls than boys

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