Introduction: Neural tube defects are common major congenital anomalies. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects. In 2003, incidence of neuroblastoma has decreased with 60% in Canada as a result of enriched cereal grain flours with synthetic folic acid. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the practice of the folic acid intake by pregnant women (based on the Hungarian recommendation) to the incidence of neural tube defects and neuroblastoma. Methods: The practice of folic acid supplementation was examined by questionnaires filled according to the documentation of health visitors. The data were worked up by computer. The incidence of neural tube defect was obtained from the data of the Hungarian Congenital Anomalies Registry, however, the data of National Health Insurence Company are also given. The incidence of neuroblastoma was the data of the Hungarian Pediatric Tumor Registry. Regular folic acid intake has been recommended to pregnant women in Hungary, since the eighties of the last century. An official protocol had been released by the Obstetric and Gynecologic Professional Board in 1997. In this paper, the authors report the Hungarian pregnant women's folic acid intake in years of 2001, 2002 and 2003. These years were choosed, because according to the data of the Hungarian Pediatric Cancer Registry 45% of the neuroblastoma cases are less than 1 year old, and 45% of them are 1-5 years old at the time of diagnosis. The authors succeded to collect the data from 95% of the pregnant women during these years (271 748 women). Results: Based on the statistical analysis of the collected data, 69% of the pregnant women were regularly taking folic acid products in Hungary, however, the dose of the daily intake was below 5 mg. 93% of the pregnant women started the folic acid intake after their 7th weeks of pregnancy The incidence of neural tube defects was constant, and the incidence of neuroblastoma slightly increased during the above mentioned period. Conclusions: This work highlighted that, the folic acid intake to prevent neural tube defects was started too late, because the formation of neural tube is finished on 28. day of pregnancy. 85% of the pregnant women used less amount of folic acid than 5 mg/day. The increasing number of planned pregnancies would allow to start folic acid intake earlier. However, based on international experience, the enrichement of cereal grain flours with synthetic folic acid could provide optimal results.
|Translated title of the contribution||Unsuitable practice of folic acid supplementation in pregnant women in Hungary|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 27 2006|
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