Periconceptional supplementation with Pregnavite Forte F was offered to women who presented consecutively to the Oxford genetic counselling service in the early 1980s who had previously had one or more pregnancies complicated by a neural tube defect. The first 100 children born alive to these women are the subject of this study. Birth weight, gestation, and congenital abnormalities were recorded. At age 2-5 years all 96 children remaining in the United Kingdom were assessed clinically and developmentally and behavioural information was obtained by questionnaire. At age 7-10 years, follow up of 91 children by telephone and postal questionnaire yielded further information about growth, general health, vision, hearing, and educational and behavioural status. Entry criteria excluded single mothers but the social class distribution of the sample was otherwise representative of the Oxfordshire population. There were no recurrences of neural tube defects. One child had radiological evidence of spina bifida occulta affecting only the fifth lumbar vertebra. One had an autosomal recessive disorder. Eight had random minor congenital anomalies. Birth weight for gestational age was significantly greater than for the local population and at age 7-10 years the girls were considerably taller than expected. Health, auditory, visual, and developmental status were no different from the general population. None of the children had special educational needs. None showed a major behaviour disorder but worries, fussiness, and fearfulness were highly significantly over represented.
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