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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>