Background: Periconceptional folic acid reduces neural tube defect (NTD) risk. Red blood cell folate concentration is inversely associated with NTD risk. In many countries there is a lack of information on NTD rates. Red cell folate status in women of childbearing age may be a surrogate for NTD rates and may be helpful in identifying countries or regions most likely to benefit from improved folate status. Objective: To predict NTD rates using red cell folate concentrations in women of childbearing age living in three Asian cities Design: Cross-sectional convenience samples of non-pregnant women living in Beijing (n=220), Kuala Lumpur (n=389), and Jakarta (n=129). Results: Red cell folate concentrations were highest (p<0.001) in women from Jakarta at 872 nmol/L (95% CI; 833, 910) followed by Kuala Lumpur at 674 nmol/L (95% CI: 644, 704) and lowest in Beijing at 563 nmol/L (95% CI: 524, 601). Accordingly, predicted NTD rates were highest in Beijing at 30/10000 (95% CI: 27, 33), followed by Kuala Lumpur at 24/10000 (95% CI: 22, 25), and lowest in Jakarta at 15/10000 (95% CI: 14, 15). Conclusion: Our red blood cell folate data suggests that of the three cities improving the folate status of women in Beijing would have the greatest impact on NTD rates.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2007|
- Red cell folate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics