Mortality among fetuses: preventable spina bifida and anencephaly in Europe

Lack of folic acid enrichment in Europe causes mortality among fetuses

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Europe has an epidemic of spina bifida and anencephaly compared with countries with mandatory folic acid fortification policy. Primary prevention through mandatory folic acid fortification would considerably reduce the number of affected pregnancies, and associated additional costs.

A new international study shows that 5,000 foetuses in Europe annually are affected by spina bifida and other severe defects on the central nervous system. Seventy per cent of these pregnancies are terminated, while increased mortality and serious diseases affect the children who are born. At least half of the cases can be avoided by adding folic acid to staple foods as is already being done in seventy non-European countries.

Sources and more information
  • Lack of folic acid enrichment in Europe causes mortality among fetuses, medicalxpress, August 28, 2015.
  • Preventable spina bifida and anencephaly in Europe, Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology, 14 JUL 2015, DOI: 10.1002/bdra.23400.

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