Evaluation of neural tube defects from 2014 to 2019 in Turkey

Caylan N., YALÇIN S. S. , Tezel B., Aydin S., Uner O., Kara F.

BMC PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH, vol.22, no.1, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12884-022-04678-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Neural tube defect, Prevalence, Mortality, Turkey, Folic acid, Supplementation, Fortification, FOLIC-ACID FORTIFICATION, PREVENTION, PREVALENCE, RISK, DETERMINANTS, POPULATION, MORTALITY, FLOUR


Objective The aim of this study is to determine the frequency of neural tube defects (NTDs) and to examine the epidemiological characteristics of NTD related deaths in Turkey. Methods This nationwide descriptive study was included NTD related infant deaths, termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly (ToPFA) and stillbirth cases registered in Death Notification System between 2014 and 2019, and patients diagnosed with NTD in the 2018 birth cohort. Findings In the 2018 birth cohort, there were 3475 cases of NTD at birth (27.5 per 10,000). The fatality rates for live-born babies with NTD in this cohort were 13.5% at first year, and 15.6% at the end of March, 2022. NTDs were associated with 11.7% of ToPFA cases, 2.5% of stillbirths and 2.8% of infant deaths in 2014-2019. NTD related stillbirth rate was 1.74 per 10,000 births, while NTD related ToPFA rate and infant mortality rate were 0.61 and 2.70 per 10,000 live births respectively. NTD-related stillbirth and infant mortality rate were highest in the Eastern region (3.64 per 10,000 births; 4.65 per 10,000 live births respectively), while ToPFA rate was highest in the North and West regions (1.17 and 0.79 per 10,000 live births respectively) (p < 0.05). Prematurity and low birth weight were the variables with the highest NTD related rates for stillbirths (11.26 and 16.80 per 10,000 birth), ToPFA (9.25 and 12.74) per 10,000 live birth), and infant deaths (13.91 and 20.11 per 10,000 live birth) (p < 0.05). Conclusion NTDs are common and have an important place among the mortality causes in Turkey. Primary prevention through mandatory folic acid fortification should be considered both to reduce the frequency of NTD and related mortality rates.