Prevalence of life-threatening neural tube defects on the rise

Prevalence of life-threatening neural tube defects on the rise

The FINANCIAL -- Every year, around eight million babies are affected by birth defects globally. These include life-debilitating neural tube defects (NTDs) which result in devastating conditions such as anencephaly, an absence of major parts of the brain, and spina bifida, an open spinal column often resulting in paralisis. While the incidence of NTDs has been on the decline in most developed nations, the occurrence of NTDs has increased in other countries including Japan. 

To combat this growing health concern, Bayer has introduced Elevit in Japan, a prenatal multivitamin and multimineral containing folic acid which is available in more than 60 countries. One daily dose of Elevit has been clinically shown to reduce the incidence of NTDs by up to 92 percent when it is taken starting at least one month before conception. The combination of twelve essential vitamins and six minerals support the health of women trying to conceive and the health of the developing baby, from pre-conception through breastfeeding, according to Bayer.

Despite the clear benefits of prenatal folic acid supplementation, the average amount of folic acid taken by Japanese pregnant women is less than half the amount recommended by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. With this startling statistic as the backdrop, the Consumer Health Division of Bayer in Japan has also commenced a multi-dimensional educational campaign for healthcare professionals and the general public.

Ayumi Ueda, General Manager of Bayer’s Consumer Health Division in Japan says: “Elevit has been a trusted source of folic acid and other key nutrients for women and babies across the world for over 30 years. At Bayer, we’re committed to helping women lead better, healthier lives, and we aim to reduce the prevalence of neural tube defects by increasing awareness through education on the importance of folic acid.”