Data relating to the incidence of anencephalus for the 12-year period 1961-72 were abstracted from the Statistical Reviews of the Registrar General for Scotland. It was shown that considerable geographical variation is still apparent with the highlands having, in general, the lower incidences. In comparison with the earlier study of Edwards (1958), there were some changes: the incidence in the areas to the west had increased and that in those to the east decreased. During the 12-year period there was an overall decline in the incidence of the lesion; this was most marked in births to women under 20 years, and to those of social classes III, IV, and V. The decline was least apparent for births to women of high social class and the unmarried. It was shown that there was little seasonal variation in the time of delivery, but that even when the trend had been taken into account the yearly fluctuation was significantly different from that expected, with an excess of cases in 1961 and 1971.
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