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BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 18 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1205
  1. Alison Tonks (, associate editor,
  2. Balaji Ravichandran (, BMJ Clegg Scholar

    Dietary folate linked to IVF twins

    A singleton rather than a twin pregnancy after successful in vitro fertilisation is generally safer for both mother and baby. The risk of twins is closely related to the number of embryos transferred in the fertility treatment, but a recent study reports that diet could also be important. In a cohort of 602 women, a diet rich in folate (from food and supplements) was associated with a significantly increased risk of twins after successful embryo transfer. An increase of 100 μg a day resulted in an odds ratio for twins of 1.22 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.58; P = 0.003). The authors also found a link between twins and laboratory markers of dietary folate.

    Credit: LANCET

    Dietary folate had no impact on a woman's chances of conceiving after in vitro fertilisation or on her risk of miscarriage. But her genes did. The authors found a favourable and unfavourable genotype in one of the gene variants involved in the metabolism of vitamin B. Women with an unfavourable genotype were significantly less likely to have a baby after in vitro fertilisation, with an odds ratio of 0.24 (0.08 to 0.71; P = 0.003)

    The authors estimate that if the United Kingdom follows the United States and puts folate supplements in flour, an extra 600 women a year who have had in vitro fertilisation will give birth to twins.

    Millions in US have uncorrected poor eyesight

    An estimated 14 million US adults have poor eyesight that is left untreated, a national survey has found. Uncorrected refractive error seems to be the biggest problem, affecting about 11 million adults.

    The estimates were based on data from the national health and nutrition examination survey, a yearly survey of a representative sample of US adults. Eye examinations were reintroduced in 1999 after a lapse of more than 15 years, and 13 265 adults …

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