Germany leads in neural tube defects in neonates in Europe, claim researchers.
Extensive folic acid fortification of foods in Germany might prevent these in 85-100% of cases, Wolfgang Herrmann and Rima Obeid argue in this issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 108; 249-54).
A woman's folic acid intake before and during early pregnancy ensures that the fetus does not develop the neural tube defect commonly known as spina bifida. Every year, 800 pregnancies in Germany are diagnosed with a neural tube defect. Most of those pregnancies are terminated.