Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neural tube defects decrease with folic acid fortification

22.04.2005


A new study published online April 21, 2005 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A examines whether the recent decline in neural tube defects in Chile was due to the addition of folic acid to wheat flour in that country or to pre-existing decreasing trends. The journal is available online via Wiley InterScience at www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ajmg



Recent data in Chile have suggested that the incidence of the neural tube defects spina bifida and anencephaly (a fatal condition that results in malformation of the brain) have significantly declined since January 2000, when wheat flour began to be fortified with folic acid. In that time, Chile has been fortifying its foods at double the rate of the U.S. In order to determine if the decrease was directly attributable to the addition of folic acid as opposed to an independent trend, the study examined historical data from before the fortification and compared it to data from a two-year period after fortification began.

Led by Eduardo E. Castilla, of the genetics department at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, researchers performed a survey of maternity hospitals in the ECLAMC (Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations) network in Chile between the years 1982 and 2002. The data were divided between the pre-fortification years 1982-1989 and 1990-2000 to provide a baseline, and 2001-2002, the period during which flour was fortified. While the prevalence rates of neural tube defects did not significantly change between the two pre-fortified periods, the rate of spina bifida decreased by 51 percent and the rate of anencephaly decreased by 46 percent in the 2001-2002 period. Because different hospitals might experience different rates in neural tube defects at different times, the study examined only those hospitals with data for two consecutive periods.


According to the authors, one of the main strengths of the study is that because abortion is illegal in Chile, the data contain virtually all cases of neural tube defects. Furthermore, the study confirms preliminary results following folic acid fortification that were observed 20 months after fortification began. In addition, the inclusion of two pre-fortification periods successfully demonstrated that the decrease in neural tube defects seen in 2001-2002 was not due to a historical trend like in other areas of the world, including the U.S., where decreasing trends are documented.

Based on their comparison of two pre-fortification periods, the authors conclude: "In summary, we demonstrated that neural tube defect prevalence rates were not decreasing in Chile before the start of folic acid fortification in the year 2000." They note that the results of this study are similar to studies conducted from other folic acid fortified populations in Canada and the U.S. and state that more precise estimates will be provided by ECLAMC during the next few years.

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>