Advertisement

Neural Tube Defects in Australia and Food Fortification with Folic Acid

  • Carol BowerEmail author
  • Jane Halliday
Chapter
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)

Abstract

A review of Australian data on neural tube defects (NTD) from 1942 to 1981, published in 1984 [1], reported total NTD rates ranging from 0.8 per 1,000 births to 2.7 per 1,000, with the rates for anencephaly similar to those for spina bifida. For the four states that provided data by year of birth from 1975 to 1981 (New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia), there was a decline in NTD rates from around 2 per 1,000 or more to 1.6 per 1,000 or less [1].

Keywords

Neural tube defects Folate Folic acid Fortification Australia 

Abbreviations

FSANZ

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

NTD

Neural tube defects

NHMRC

National Health and Medical Research Council

References

  1. 1.
    Bower C, Hobbs M, Carney A, Simpson D. Neural tube defects in Western Australia 1966–81 and a review of Australian data 1942–81. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1984;38:208–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bower C, Raymond M, Lumley J, Bury G. Trends in neural tube defects 1980–1989. Med J Aust. 1993;158:152–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chan A, Robertson EF, Haan EA, Keane RJ, Ranieri E, Carney A. Prevalence of neural tube defects in South Australia, 1966–91: effectiveness and impact of prenatal diagnosis. BMJ. 1993;307:703–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bower C, Stanley FJ. Dietary folate as a risk factor for neural-tube defects: evidence from a case–control study in Western Australia. Med J Aust. 1989;150:613–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bower C, Stanley FJ. Periconceptional vitamin supplementation and neural tube defects: evidence from a case–control study in Western Australia and a review of recent publications. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1992;46:157–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    MRC Vitamin Study Research Group. Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. Lancet. 1991;338:131–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    NH&MRC. Revised statement on the relationship between dietary folic acid and neural tube defects such as spina bifida. J Paediatr Child Health. 1994;30:476–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    NHMRC Folate Fortification. Report of the Expert Panel on folate fortification. Sydney: NHMRC; 1994. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n19.pdf. Accessed 31 Oct 2011.
  9. 9.
    Abraham B, Webb K. Interim evaluation of the voluntary folate fortification policy. Canberra: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care; 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lawrence MA, Rutishauser IHE, Lewis JL. Knowledge about folate and the contribution of nutrient supplements to the intake of folic acid and vitamin B12 in Australian adults in 1995 and 1996. Aust J Nutr Diet. 2001;58:12–20.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bower C, Blum L, O’Daly K, Higgins C, Loutsky F, Kosky C. Promotion of folate for the prevention of neural tube defects: knowledge and use of periconceptional folic acid supplements in Western Australia, 1992–1995. Aust N Z J Public Health. 1997;21:716–21. Erratum: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 1998;1922:1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bower C, Miller M, Payne J, Serna P, de Klerk N, Stanley FJ. Folate promotion in Western Australia and the prevention of neural tube defects. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2004;28:458–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bower C, Ryan A, Rudy E, Miller M. Trends in neural tube defects in Western Australia. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2002;346:725–30.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bower C, Eades S, Payne J, D’Antoine H, Stanley F. Trends in neural tube defects in Western Australia in Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2004;18:277–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chan A, Pickering J, Haan EA, Netting M, Burford A, Johnson A, et al. “Folate before pregnancy”: the impact on women and health professionals of a population-based health promotion campaign in South Australia. Med J Aust. 2001;174:631–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Watson M, Watson L, Bell R, Halliday J, Burford N, Brennecke S. A randomised community intervention trial to increase awareness and knowledge of the role of periconceptional folate in women of child bearing age. Health Expect. 1999;2:255–65.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Watson L, Brown S, Davey M-A. Use of periconceptional folic acid supplements in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2006;39:42–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    du Plessis L, Hunt R, Fletcher A, Riley M, Halliday J. What has happened with neural tube defects and womens’ understanding of folate in Victoria since 1998? Med J Aust. 2008;189:570–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
    Muggli EE, Halliday JL. Folic acid and risk of twinning: a systematic review of the recent literature, July 1994-July 2006. Med J Aust. 2007;186(5):243–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bower C, de Klerk N, Hickling S, Ambrosini G, Flicker L, Geelhoed E, et al. Assessment of the potential effect of incremental increases in folic acid intake on neural tube defects in Australia and New Zealand. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2006;30:369–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification in Australia and New Zealand: baseline report for monitoring. Cat. no. PHE 139. Canberra: AIHW; 2011. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737418875. Accessed 4 Nov 2011.
  27. 27.
    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification in Australia and New Zealand: supplement to the baseline report for monitoring. Cat. no. PHE 153. Canberra: AIHW; 2011. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420085. Accessed 4 Nov 2011.
  28. 28.
    Abeywardana S, Bower C, Halliday J, Chan A, Sullivan EA. Prevalence of neural tube defects in Australia prior to mandatory folic acid fortification of bread flour. ANZ J Public Health. 2010;34:351–5.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Abeywardana S, Sullivan EA. Neural tube defects in Australia. An epidemiological report. Cat no. PER 45. Sydney: AIHW, National Perinatal Statistics Unit; 2008.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Brown RD, Langshaw MR, Uhr EJ, Gibson JN, Joshua DE. The impact of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid on the blood folate levels of an Australian population. Med J Aust. 2011;194:65–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population ScienceTelethon Institute for Child Health ResearchSubiacoAustralia
  2. 2.Public Health Genetics, Genetic DisordersMurdoch Childrens Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations