, Volume 72, Issue 7, pp 557-559

Neural tube defects in pondicherry

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Objective: This study was carried out to identify the trend and the frequency of neural tube defects from July 1998 to June 2004.Methods; A total of 310 babies were born with neural tube defects with the overall frequency of 5.7/1000 births compared to 2.3/1000 births observed earlier in our hospital.Results : The most common defect was spina bifida (54.8%) followed by anencephaly (31.6%), and encephalocele (11.6%). More neural tube defects were observed in female and low birth weight babies, still births and unbooked mothers. Neural tube defect was significantly higher among babies born to parents of consanguineous marriage (p<0.01). Associated congenital defects were observed in thirty nine (12.6%) cases.Conclusion: The rise in the frequency of NTDS may indicate the current trend of NTDs in Southern India. A further prospective study is desired to measure the effectiveness of regular folic acid supplementation in bringing down this frequency