Letters Neural tube defects in Europe

Folic acid to prevent neural tube defects: another solution

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i763 (Published 16 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i763
  1. Yona Amitai, paediatrician1,
  2. Gideon Koren, faculty2
  1. 1Department of Management, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 529002, Israel
  2. 2Division of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5F 1X8
  1. yonaamitai89{at}gmail.com

The BMJ Group recently published two pivotal European studies on folic acid and the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs). Khoshnood and colleagues’ study, which used 28 EUROCAT registries, identified no decrease in overall or specific NTDs in Europe between 1991 and 2011.1 Navarrete-Munoz and colleagues found that only a minority of Spanish women use high enough levels of folic acid supplementation to prevent NTDs during the critical time of organogenesis.2 These two studies, and another recent one from the UK,3 show the strategy of preventing NTDs by folic acid supplementation has failed. While Khoshnood and colleagues …

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