Folic Acid Could Prevent Down's Syndrome

June 23, 2003

1 Min Read
Folic Acid Could Prevent Down's Syndrome


Folic Acid Could Prevent Down's Syndrome

TEL AVIV, Israel--There is a direct link between Down'ssyndrome and neural tube defects (NTDs), according to researchers at Tel AvivUniversity. Their study, published in the April 19 issue of The Lancet(361, 9366:1331-5, 2003) (www.thelancet.org),indicated that in addition to preventing NTDs, folate supplementation beforeconception may reduce the frequency of Down's syndrome.

Their investigation involved two series of families using informationobtained from medical records. The records included 493 families from Israel whowere at high risk of NTDs, and 519 families from the Ukraine at high risk ofhaving children with Down's syndrome. A review of the data indicated that in thefamilies at risk of NTDs, there were 11 pregnancies affected by Down's syndromein 1,492 at-risk pregnancies (compared with 187 expected on the basis ofmaternal age), which was a significant increase. In the families at risk ofDown's syndrome, there were seven NTD pregnancies in 1,847 at risk, comparedwith 137 expected.

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