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AIAS Fellow Rima Obeid publishes significant results on the role of folic acid in prevention of infant mortality

Insufficient dietary folate intake among European women leads to thousands of birth defects every year and high costs of billions of Danish kroner. Enrichment of selected foods with folic acid can prevent child mortality and save huge costs. These are the results of a recent study published by Rima Obeid.

The study ‘Preventable Spina Bifida and Anencephaly in Europe’ shows that yearly 5000 fetuses in Europe are diagnosed with spina bifida and other severe defects on the central nervous system. 70 % of these pregnancies are terminated, while the live births suffer from serious morbidities and early mortality. At least half of the cases can be prevented by adding a minor amount of folic acid to selected stable foods, a strategy that is already practiced in 70 countries with exception of all European countries. Fortification with folic acid is cost-effective, safe and effective in prevention of birth defects.

Rima Obeid is currently an AIAS-Cofund Senior Fellow at Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, coming from a position at the University Hospital of the Saarland, Germany.

More on the results

You can read more on the publication and its results and implications here:

Read Rima Obeid’s scientific article: ‘Preventable Spina Bifida and Anencephaly in Europe

On au.dk you can read more about the results of the study in the article ‘Manglende folsyre-berigelse i Europa skyld i dødelighed blandt fostre’

On videnskab.dk you can read more about the political implications of the study in the article ‘Forskere: Put folinsyre i danske daglivarer’/’Researchers: Add folic acid to Danish staple foods’.


Prof. Rima Obeid
Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University
Phone: + 45 8715 3652
Cell phone: +45 501 25 875