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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887


CORRAL S, Edgardo et al. Effect of flour folic acid fortification on the incidence of cranio encephalic congenital defects. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2006, vol.134, n.9, pp.1129-1134. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: In Chile, flour is fortified with folic acid since 2000, and the incidence of neural tube defects has decreased. Cranio-encephalic congenital defects (CECD) have a wider clinical scope, includind classical neural tube defects (NTD) such as anencephalia and acrania, but also incorporating other defects. Therefore, the effects of folic acid fortification on the incidence of CECD could be different. Aim: To study the effect of folic acid fortification on the incidence of CECD. Material and methods: All prenatal diagnoses of CECD and cases registered locally in the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC) were reviewed. The obtained data were crossed with all death certificates of newborns or stillborns of more than 500 g in the Sixth Region, in Central Chile. All cases were classified again in four subtypes, according to their phenotype. The incidences of all subtypes prior (1996-2000) and after folic acid supplementation (2001-2004), were compared. Results: Between 1996 and 2004, there were 64 cases of CEDC among 109,176 infants born alive. The global rate was 8.86 per 10,000 born alive in the period prior to fortification and 3.03 per 10,000 born alive after fortification. Comparing both periods, there was a 66% reduction in all CECD and a 77 and 100% reduction in subtypes A and B of CECD, respectively (p <0.05). No significant reductions in type C and D CECD, were observed. Conclusions: After the start of flour folic acid fortification, there was a global reduction in the incidence of CECD. However, only types A and B CECD, supposedly more responsive to folic acid, were reduced

Palavras-chave : Dietary supplements; Flour; Folic acid; Nervous system malformations.

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