Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Global prevalence of congenital anencephaly

Salari N, Fatahi B, Fatahian R, Mohammadi P, Rahmani A, Darvishi N, Keivan M, Shohaimi S, Mohammadi M. Global prevalence of congenital anencephaly: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Health. 2022 Oct 17;19(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s12978-022-01509-4. PMID: 36253858; PMCID: PMC9575217. 


Background: Anencephaly is a fatal congenital anomaly characterized by the absence of brain hemispheres and cranial arch. Timely preventive measures can be taken by knowing the exact prevalence of this common neural tube defect; thus, carried out through systematic review and meta-analysis, the present study was conducted to determine the worldwide prevalence, incidence and mortality of anencephaly.

Methods: Cochran's seven-step instructions were used as the guideline. Having determined the research question and inclusion and exclusion criteria, we studied MagIran, SID, Science Direct, WoS, Web of Science, Medline (PubMed), Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Moreover, the search strategy in each database included using all possible keyword combinations with the help of "AND" and "OR" operators with no time limit to 2021. The I2 test was used to calculate study heterogeneity, and Begg and Mazumdar rank correlation tests were employed to assess the publication bias. Data were analyzed by Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software (Version 2).

Results: In this study, the statements of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA) were used. In the first stage, 1141 articles were found, of which 330 duplicate studies were omitted. 371 articles were deleted based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria by reviewing the title and abstract of the study. 58 articles were removed by reviewing the full text of the article because it was not relevant to the research. 360 studies with a sample size of 207,639,132 people were considered for the meta-analysis. Overall estimate of the prevalence, incidence and attenuation of anencephaly worldwide were 5.1 per ten thousand births (95% confidence interval 4.7-5.5 per ten thousand births), 8.3 per ten thousand births (95% confidence interval 5.5-9.9 per ten thousand births), 5.5 per ten thousand births (95% confidence interval 1.8-15 per ten thousand births) respectively the highest of which according to the subgroup analysis, belonged to the Australian continent with 8.6 per ten thousand births (95% confidence interval 7.7-9.5 per ten thousand births).

Conclusion: The overall prevalence of anencephaly in the world is significant, indicating the urgent need for preventive and treating measures.

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