Çocuk Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Dergisi 2004 , Vol 47 , Num 2
Ergül Tunçbilek
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Pediatri Profesörü Tunçbilek E. (Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey). The high incidence of neural tube defects in Turkey what should be done for prevention? Çocuk Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Dergisi 2004; 47: 79-84.

Various studies have shown the high incidence of neural tube defects (NTD) in Turkey. The estimated incidence is around 3 per 1,000 live births. A nationwide survey taking place in Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments of üniversity hospitals has demonstrated that the incidence is highest in northern and eastern Anatolia, 4.32 and 4.94 per 1,000 live births, respectively. The incidence of NTD among illiterate mothers was as high as 9.1 per 1000 live births. Among genetic factors, MTHFR 677C→ T polymorphism has been implicated in susceptibility to NTD in different populations. However, this polymorphism was not found to be a risk factor for NTD in the Turkish population in one study. Folic acid supplements taken periconceptionally have been definitely proven to significantly reduce the risk of NTD, and this scientific evidence has been translated into public health policies in many countries. Therefore, for primary prevention of NTD, folic acid supplementation and fortification of food with folic acid have vital importance in Turkey, and new policies must be developed by responsible bodies such as the Ministry of Health, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. Anahtar Kelimeler : nöral tüp defektleri, önlem, folik asit, neural tube defects, prevention, folic acid.

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