Neural Tube Defects Prevalence in A Hospital-Based Study in Urmia
Iranian Journal of Child Neurology,
Vol. 2 No. 3 (2008),
20 October 2008
Neural tube defects including anencephaly, encephalocele, and spina bifida are major congenital malformations with multifactorial etiology, and with a great variation in their prevalence in different populations. The study on the prevalence of these malformations may be helpful in planning strategies for their prevention. The aim of this epidemiologic descriptive study was to determine the prevalence of neural tube defects and to describe their birth characteristics in Motahhari hospital, Urmia, West Azerbaijan.
Materials and Methods
A cross-section observational study was carried on the hospital-based charts of consecutive 13997 live-births and 124 stillbirths during the period January 2001 through June 2005. The defects categorized based on the domains of anencephaly, spina bifida, and encephalocele according to standard definitions.
During this period, 117 cases were detected with neural tube defects, giving an overall prevalence of 8.29/1000. Of 117 cases, 81 (69.23%) cases were seen among stillbirths and 36 (30.77%) cases among live-births, that is, the prevalence of neural tube defects for stillbirths and live-births were 653.2/1000 and 2.57/1000 respectively. The yearly prevalence varies between 6.99/1000 and 9.82/1000 over the 4.5-year period. The major lesion was anencephaly with prevalence of 5.52/1000 (66.67% of all neural tube defects). Approximately, two-thirds (66.09%) of cases were found in females. Weights of 73.36% of anencephalic cases were less than 1000 grams.
In this study, the prevalence of neural tube defects is among the highest reported rates. There was a significance difference in the prevalence of anencephaly, as the most prevalent NTD, between live-births and stillbirths. These findings may necessitate an intensive approach to periconceptional folic acid supplementation as a possible strategy to reduce the prevalence of these defects.
- Neural Tube Defects
- Spina Bifida
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