Prevalence and Correlates of Neural Tube Defect in South West Iran Retrospective analysis

Ahmad Behrooz, Mohammad H Gorjizadeh


Objective: In view of the large number of pregnancies complicated by neural tube defect (NTD) in Khuzestan, south west Iran, this study assesses the prevalence of NTD and its ecological and social factors. Methods: This is a retrospective study, based on medical documents using an analytic assessment of NTDs in pregnant women attending the Jundi Shapur University hospitals in Ahvaz from 21 March 2002 to 20 March 2004. Results: The total number of pregnant women was 13,262 and 56 pregnancies were complicated with NTD. A large number of the infants with NTDs were female (70%) and the most common anomaly was anencephaly. The prevalence was 4.2 in 1,000 births. The percentage in primigravida was 42.6% and in multigravida 57.4%. The main risk factor for NTD was age of the mother, those between 21 and 30 being the most affected. Consanguinity is the second risk factor with 31% of couples who were close relatives. Other socio-demographic factors were also significant. Conclusion: This retrospective study confirms clinical observation that pregnancies complicated by NTD in Khuzestan are common. There are various ecological and social factors that correlate with the prevalence of NTD. 


Neural tube defect, Social and ecological factors, retrospective study, Khuzestan, Iran

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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