Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Preventable birth defects in Europe

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At least half of the nearly 8,000 European cases of spina bifida and anencephaly can be prevented through a mandatory folic acid fortification intervention, according to a study in Europe in collaboration with Rollins researchers.

Spina bifida and anencephaly are severe birth defects that affect the spinal cord and brain.

"There are well-documented benefits to folic acid fortification," explains Godfrey Oakley, Jr, professor of epidemiology. "Europe does recommend that all women planning a pregnancy take a folic acid supplement, but the numbers over the past 11 years reveal that this voluntary method is ineffective."

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"Report: Folic acid fortification in Europe could halve rates of birth defects and infant mortality" (9/2/2015)

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