Risk factors and epidemiology of neural tube defects in Morocco

Abstract Number Theme Presentation Type Cover Approved
0201 Methods for assessing human function in micronutrient interventions Poster Not Approved


Abstract Content


Neural tube defects has a considerable importance because they can be prevented by supplementing Folic acid & Vitamin B12 during periconceptional period and fortification of staple foods. In Morocco, the Ministry of Health launched a national program for fortification of flour with folic acid.The aim of study isto evaluate the prevalence of neural tube defects after fortification.


This is a retrospective descriptive study at the National Reference Centre for Nutrition and Neonatology of the Children’s Hospital of Rabat over 4 years. Data were identified from the registry of congenital malformations held at the perinatology unit.


During the 4 years, 674 congenital malformations were identified. The neural tube defects account for 11.9%. Their annual prevalence decreased significantly from 21.78 in 2008 to 12.1 per 10,000 total births in 2011after fortification (p<0,05).The most common form was anencephaly (60%). Neural tube defects were isolated in 85% of cases and associated with other malformations in 15% of cases. 49.4% of infants with neural tube defects were female and 50.6% were male. Perinatal mortality in newborns with neural tube defects was 63.8% versus 25.2% in malformed newborns without neural tube defects.


The neural tube defects seem to be common after supplementing Folic acid & Vitamin B12 during periconceptional period in Morocco. Permanent epidemiological surveillance is needed to determine the true prevalence and risk factors in our context.

Our website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience.
Please visit our Privacy Policy page for more information.