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How are Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) affecting my community?

Question: In Arizona, who is at highest risk for having a baby with a neural tube defect?
Answer: Latinas and white (non-Hispanic) females

Who is at risk for an NTD-affected pregnancy?
In Arizona, all women able to become pregnant are at risk of an NTD-affected pregnancy. However, Latinas have a risk 1.5 to 3 times higher than non-Hispanic white women of having a child affected by these birth defects.

What is Arizona’s NTD rate?
On average, 51.7 babies per year are born with neural tube defects (NTDs) in Arizona. While this number may seem small, but up to 70% of all NTDs can be prevented by taking folic acid by women of childbearing years, ages 15-45. According to the Children Rehabilitative Services Program (CRS), during 2008-2011, there were 1074 children under age 21 enrolled in the program being treated for spina bifida.

Source(s):

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Council on Folic Acid: with CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Hispanic Health Program: folic acid knowledge and use among Hispanic women.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services, Birth Defects Monitoring Program
  • Arizona Department of Health Services, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

What is the cost of NTDs?
The annual medical costs of neural tube defects are about $294,000 per child. The annual medical care and surgical costs for persons with Spina Bifida in the United States is over $200 million. The average lifetime cost associated with caring for a child with Spina Bifida is $500,000 to $1 million

Source(s):

Incident Rate of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) per 10,000 Live Births by Type Arizona, 1995-2009
Source: Arizona Department of Health Services Birth Defects Registry

Incident Rate of Neural Tube Defects per 10,000 Live Births by Selected Race/Ethnicity Arizona, 1995-2009
Source: Arizona Department of Health Services Birth Defects Registry

Incident Rate of Spnia Bifida per 10,000 Live Births by Selected Race/Ethnicity Arizona, 1995-2009
Source(s): Arizona Department of Health Services Birth Defects Registry
Arizona fast facts about Spina Bifida, 1995-2009

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