February 15th, 2019

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Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects and Risk Factors from a Population-Based Study in Inner Mongolia
Authors:  Shuwei Yang, M.D., Shuyi Guo, M.D., Ling Yang, Ph.D., Liya Su, Ph.D., and Xingguang Zhang, Ph.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in Inner Mongolia, compare their characteristics and differences, and analyze the association between risk factors and NTDs.

STUDY DESIGN: The survey was conducted by cluster sampling across 12 cities in Inner Mongolia. All live births, stillbirths, and abortions born or yielded from October 2005 to September 2008 were included. NTDs were obtained from the Inner Mongolia Birth Defects Program. We calculated the prevalence and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), compared the difference between groups using the χ2 test, and analyzed the association between risk factors and NTDs using logistic regression.

RESULTS: We evaluated 126 children with NTDs. The prevalence of NTDs was 20.1 per 10,000 births (95% CI 16.6–23.7). The risk was higher in women <25 years old than in women 25–29 years old (relative ratio=1.70; 95% CI 1.10–2.61). Compared with first pregnancy, the relative ratio of more pregnancies was 2.51 (95% CI 1.76–3.58).

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of NTDs is high in Inner Mongolia. In this study we found that younger maternal age, lower maternal education level, and multiple pregnancies may increase the risk of NTDs.
Keywords:  epidemiology; neural tube defects; prevalence; risk factors
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