Anna Turley – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Anna Turley on 2016-04-19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what comparative information his Department holds on the rate of pregnancies affected by neural tube defects in the UK and in other EU member states.

Ben Gummer

The prevalence of neural tube defects in live births, fetal deaths (over 20 weeks’ gestation) and terminations of pregnancy for fetal anomaly in 2012 in the British Isles Network of Congenital Anomaly Registers, registers (covering 36% of the births in England and Wales) was 12.5 per 10,000 births (source: Congenital anomaly statistics 2012, England and Wales (2014)).

In European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies registries (covering 25.8% of the births in the United Kingdom) the prevalence of neural tube defects in 2012 for the UK was 12.53 neural tube defects per 10,000 births. By comparison, other European Union member states ranged from 1.75 per 10,000 births to 17.37 per 10,000 births. Differences in total prevalence rates may reflect a number of factors including genetic and environmental differences.

Data on prevalence is available at: