Recent Decrease in the Prevalence of Congenital Heart Defects in Europe
The Journal of Pediatrics, 08/10/2012
Khoshnood B et al. – The prevalence of congenital heart defects (CHDs) decreased in recent years in Europe in the absence of a policy for mandatory folic acid fortification. One possible explanation for this decrease may be an as–yet–undocumented increase in folic acid intake of women in Europe following recommendations for folic acid supplementation and/or voluntary fortification. However, alternative hypotheses, including reductions in risk factors of CHDs (eg, maternal smoking) and improved management of maternal chronic health conditions (eg, diabetes), must also be considered for explaining the observed decrease in the prevalence of CHDs in Europe or elsewhere.