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Metab Brain Dis. 2011 Sep;26(3):241-6. doi: 10.1007/s11011-011-9256-8. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Folate supplementation, MTHFR gene polymorphism and neural tube defects: a community based case control study in North India.

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  • 1Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Noida, UP, India.


The present study analyses the potential role of MTHFR gene polymorphism, folate supplementation and dietary pattern among the mothers of NTD neonates and controls in heterogeneous populations of North India, with the special focus on their ethnic labels. Results indicated significant increased risk for neural tube defects with respect to low folic acid supplementation and vegetarian diet in univariate and multivariate analyses. There was no significant difference in the genotypic or allelic distribution of MTHFR C677T polymorphism, however, high frequency of CT genotype, as observed, among controls suggests heterozygous advantage probably due to supplementary folate. Among the two communities, Muslim NTD mothers had higher TT genotype showing increased risk for neural tube defects (adjusted OR: 12.9; 95% CI: 1.21-136.8) and lower folic acid supplementation (adjusted OR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.18-10.22). Whereas, marginal increased risk for NTDs with vegetarian diet was observed among Hindus. Cultural and ethnic variation in the risk factors for neural tube defects is highlighted in the study.

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