Letters Neural tube defects in Europe

Authors’ reply to Amitai and Koren

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i769 (Published 16 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i769
  1. Helen Dolk, professor of epidemiology and health services research1,
  2. Babak Khoshnood, senior researcher2
  3. On behalf of the EUROCAT Author Group
  1. 1EUROCAT Central Registry, Centre for Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research, Institute of Nursing Research, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK
  2. 2Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team, Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, INSERM U1153, Maternité de Port-Royal, 75014 Paris, France
  1. h.dolk{at}ulster.ac.uk

Amitai and Koren’s argument about the possible importance of postconceptional folic acid is interesting,1 2 but we would hesitate to call it “another solution” at this stage because this might distract from an effective multistranded preventive strategy.

The evidence that late folic acid (started postconceptionally) can prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) is not yet strong. The Chinese study cited needs to be independently confirmed in another study population because of the many differences between the women who took supplements before or after conception (those in the last group were more likely …

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