In accordance with a previous protocol, a second cohort of 254 mothers with a history of previous neural tube defect (NTD) births was before a subsequent conception and continued until the time of the second missed menstrual period. There were 2 NTD recurrences (0.9% of 234 infants/fetuses examined), which is significantly fewer than the 11 NTD recurrences (5.1% of 215 infants/fetuses examined) born to 219 unsupplemented (US) mothers in the same centres over the same period. When the data for the two cohorts were combined, the overall recurrence rates were 0.7% for 454 fully supplemented (FS) mothers and 4.7% for 519 US mothers. The recurrence rates after 1 previous NTD were 0.5% for FS and 4.2% for US mothers: after 2 or more previous NTDs, 2.3% for FS and 9.6% for US. There were no recurrences among the offspring of a further 114 mothers whose duration of supplementation fell short of the full regimen (partially supplemented, PS).