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The prevention of neural tube defects in Ireland
McKeating, Aoife; Turner, Michael J.
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of serious congenital malformations, including anencephaly, encephalocoele and spina bifida (SB) which are associated with failure of closure of the neural tube during early embryonic development. They affect approximately one in 1000 births globally, and constitute an important challenge in terms of mortality, morbidity, social and financial costs. Studies indicate that approximately two thirds, but not all, cases of NTDs are preventable. The burden of disease associated with NTDs is higher in Ireland than in other countries. Ireland has the highest fertility rate in the European Union (EU), and more than twice as many babies with spina bifida are live-born in Ireland compared with the rest of the EU. It is estimated that there are about 500 patients with SB in Ireland. The prevention of NTDs should therefore be a higher healthcare priority in this country than in other well-resourced countries.
Keyword(s): Neural tube defects (NTDs); Congenital malformations; Anencephaly; Encephalocoele; Spina bifida (SB); Embryonic development; Ireland
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): Irish Medical Journal
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:31:32 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:31:32