Risk Factors for Spina Bifida

Risk Factors for Spina Bifida


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Risk Factors for Spina Bifida

, Risk Factors for Spina BifidaWhy spina bifida occurs is not clear to doctors and scientists. What are the causes of spina bifida is also not clear. However, scientists and doctors have identified some risk factors that can increase risk of development of spina bifida. The following factors can increase risk of spina bifida:

  • Family history: family history of spina bifida and other neural tube defects can increase risk of spina bifida. If you have one child with any neural tube defect, there is increase possibility of next child with similar problem. If mother had spina bifida or other neural tube defect, the chances are much higher for her to deliver a child with similar problems. It is also worth mentioning that most of the children, who suffer from spina bifida or other neural tube defect, do not have any family history.
  • Folic acid deficiency: this is one of the most important and preventable risk factors (causes) of spina bifida. Folic acid is essential for development of neural tube and any deficiency of folic acid during organ development of fetus/embryo can cause spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
  • Race: certain races have higher incidence/prevalence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects and other neural tube defects, such as Hispanics and Whites.
  • Certain medications: certain medications can cause spina bifida and other neural tube defects as side effect. These teratogenic (cause birth defects) drugs include anti epileptic medications such as phenytoin, valproic acid etc. These drugs probably cause neural tube defect by interfering with folic acid metabolism. Hence, these drugs should not be used during pregnancy and immediately preceding pregnancy, which can be done only by planning pregnancy well.
  • Diabetes: if mother has diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), there is increased risk of development of spina bifida.
  • Fever during pregnancy: fever (high body temperature), especially high fever during pregnancy (during organogenesis) is associated with higher risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Even increasing body temperature in saunas or hot tubs can increase risk. It is therefore important to reduce body temperature promptly by cold sponging or by medications, if there is any fever in pregnant women.
  • Obesity: several studies have shown that obesity (obese before pregnancy and during pregnancy) in the pregnant women increases incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

If you have any of the above risk factors and you are planning pregnancy, it important to consult your doctor, before planning pregnancy. Your doctor will do needful, such as folic acid supplementation, change/adjustment of medications that increase risk of spina bifida, etc.

“Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Avatar for admin

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Loading...