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Background: Neural tube defects NTDs , anencephaly, meningocele, and meningoencephalocele, are of the most common congenital anomalies of the central nervous system caused by defects in closure of the neural cord in the third and fourth gestational weeks.
Objectives: We aimed to investigate the prevalence of NTDs among the total births in clinics under supervision of Yasuj University of medical sciences, Yasuj, southwest Iran. Patients and Methods: All newborns with NTDs who were delivered in obstetrics and gynecology hospital wards of Yasuj University of medical sciences, south west Iran, from April to March were included.
The mothers with NTD deliveries were also compared with the mothers with physically healthy deliveries for blood indices. After an interview a form was filled regarding their demographic information such as maternal age, address, gestational age, mother's blood group, blood indices, and due date of delivery. The prevalence of NTDs was 4.
No significant difference was found between the groups regarding the other demographic variables and blood indices. This warning sign should be beard in mind by policy makers to address the related etiological factors and prevention plans. Neural tube defects Anencephaly Meningocele Meningoencephalocele Prevalence. Neural tube defects NTDs , including defects like anencephaly, meningocele, and meningoencephalocele, are of the most common congenital anomalies of the central nervous system caused by defects in closure of the neural cord in the third and fourth gestational weeks 1.
The prevalence of NTD varies in different ethnic groups, with the highest prevalence reported in women of Hispanic ethnicity and the lowest prevalence in black and Asian women 3 , 4. In a study on births in Hamadan northwest Iran , this prevalence was In another study the prevalence of NTDs was 2. Most of the reported cases of NTDs had a multifactorial etiology; in other words either genetics or environment played a role in the development of NTDs 7. Recent evidence suggests that several factors such as radiation, drugs, malnutrition, infections, seasonal changes, nitrated water, and genetics such as mutations in folate-dependent pathways may have adverse effects on normal development of the central nervous system since the time of conception 1 , 8 , 9.