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Eur J Pediatr. 1998 Sep;157(9):719-23.

Long-term somatic and mental development of children after periconceptional multivitamin supplementation.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics and Teratology, National Institute of Public Health, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Community Control of Hereditary Diseases, Budapest, Hungary.


The preventive effect of periconceptional folic acid-containing multivitamin supplementation compared to placebo-like trace element tablets on the number of first-occurring neural-tube defects was well documented in the Hungarian randomized double-blind trial. The effect of this new primary prevention on the early (first 11 months) postnatal development has also been studied. This follow up was expanded to children at the 2nd and 6th years of age studied previously by a blind examination of their somatic and mental development. Confounding factors and case histories were evaluated and paediatric, ophthalmological, audiological and psychometric examinations were performed on 625 children.


There were no differences in the rate and distribution of disorders including allergies (except otitis media), ophthalmological and audiological anomalies, anthropometric and mental development between children who belonged to the multivitamin or to the trace element group.

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