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 The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>