Epidemiology of neural tube defects in Germany
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A survey is made of the epidemiologic studies of neural tube defects (NTD) in Germany. A temporary increase is noted in the prevalence of NTD at birth for the time during and shortly after the Second World War, followed by a downward trend thereafter. Thus an earlier observation of Lenz (1965) could be confirmed. Falling rates of NTD were also reported from various other countries in recent years. No convincing etiological explanation is available so far. The current prevalence of NTD at birth can be estimated for Germany to be about 1.0–1.5 per thousand newborns with about an even distribution to anencephalus and spina bifida.
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