• Open Access

Measuring Prevalence: Trends in neural tube defects in Western Australia


Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, PO Box 855, West Perth, WA 6872. Fax: (08) 9489 7700; e-mail: carolb@ichr.uwa.edu.au


Objective:To report on trends in neural tube defects in Western Australia, in relation to folate promotion, periconceptional use of folic acid supplements and food fortification with folate.

Methods:Data on neural tube defects from the Western Australian Birth Defects Registry.

Results:A 30% fall in neural tube defects was documented from 1996 to 2000.

Conclusions and implications:The sustained fall in neural tube defects is thought to be due to increased periconceptional folate intake in response to health promotion campaigns and fortification of selected foods. There is room for further improvement.