Neural birth defects more common among Hispanics – Delhi Daily News

A new report has found that Hispanic mothers are more at risk of delivering babies with serious birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects.

The March of Dimes report added that Hispanics women are more likely to deliver premature babies than women of other ethnicities.


The report updated a similar 2008 paper by the nonprofit foundation revealed that Hispanic women deliver more babies than the women of any other ethnicities in the US.


“One of the things that caught our eye was, while Hispanics represent 17 percent of the population, 24 percent of premature babies are Hispanic,” said Dr. Edward McCabe, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the March of Dimes, an organization aimed at improving the health of mothers and babies.


Hispanic women are more likely to give birth to premature babies before the 37th week of pregnancy. This happens more likely because most of these women do not graduate from high school and most of them lack health insurance.


According to report, in 2012, the rate of preterm births among Hispanics was 12 percent higher than that of white mothers.


Neural tube defects include conditions such as spina bifida and anencephaly. These are malformations of the brain and spinal cord that can cause death or disability.


Experts maintained that Hispanic mothers are more at risk of delivering babies with neural tube defects because corn masa flour is a staple of the diet of a majority of Hispanics and it lacks folic acid, a B vitamin that can help prevent neural tube defects.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it mandatory for wheat flour manufacturers to ensure that corn masa fluor contains enough amount of folic acid, also called folate.

Neural birth defects more common among Hispanics – Delhi Daily News

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