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Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program

Prevalence of Spina Bifida and Anencephaly in Western Ukraine 2000-2001

Lyubov Yevtushok1, Svitlana Polishchuk2, Nataliya Yuskiv2, Tetyana Vihovska2, Zoryana Sosynyuk1, Wladimir Wertelecki3, Godfrey Oakley4

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1Rivne Medical Diagnostic Center (Rivne, Ukraine), 2Volyn Regional Children Territorial Medical Center (Lutsk, Ukraine), 3Department of Medical Genetics of the University of South Alabama (Mobile, Al, USA), 4Department of Epidemiology of the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University (USA)


In 2000, the Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program established population-based surveillance of birth defects in Rivne and Volyn (western oblasts of Ukraine). There were 50,488 live births in the 2 oblasts during the two years 2000-2001. During 2000 and 2001 there were registered 96 NTD cases. The combined prevalence of NTD was 96 / 50,488 or 1.90 per 1000 live births. There were 86 cases of spina bifida and anencephaly for a rate of 1.7 per 1000. Thus in just these two oblasts for two years there were about 60 cases of folic acid-preventable spina bifida and anencephaly. The surveillance system in Rivne and Volyn will be able to track the changes in incidence after folic acid fortification of flour in Ukraine.

Partially funded by

USAID Cooperative Agreement


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30/April/2002 SL