Potential reduction in neural tube defects associated with use of metafolin-fortified oral contraceptives in the United States
Objective - To estimate the potential reduction of neural tube defects (NTDs) through the use of Metafolin-fortified oral contraceptives (OCs) in the United States.
Study Design - A population-based decision analytic model was developed to estimate the benefits of increased red blood cell (RBC) folate levels through the use of Metafolin-fortified OCs on NTD risk during pregnancy. We modeled women who began the year taking Metafolin-fortified or traditional OCs. Folate levels were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and from clinical trial data. NTD risk was estimated by applying a published risk equation to respective RBC folate levels.
Results - The number of estimated NTD cases declined by 23.7 to 31.4%, depending on median baseline folate levels in women taking a fortified OC compared with taking a traditional OC.
Conclusion - Metafolin-fortified OCs have the potential to reduce the number of folate dependent NTDs among current and recent OC users.
Taylor, T. N., Farkouh, R., Graham, J., Colligs, A., Lindemann, M., Lynen, R., & Candrilli, S. (2011). Potential reduction in neural tube defects associated with use of metafolin-fortified oral contraceptives in the United States. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 205(5), 460.e1-460.e8. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.048