Many congenital anomalies (CA) are potentially preventable and liable to be reduced by an integrated strategy of primary prevention. In the European context there is a need for a more comprehensive, science-based and consistent approach, especially in those countries in which primary prevention actions are still in their infancy or are relying on sporadic initiatives.
EUROCAT together with EUROPLAN have developed the first comprehensive set of recommendations on policies to be considered for the primary prevention of CA in the European Union. These recommendations have to be considered a ‘first step’.
The next steps are to monitor their implementation in national plans or strategies for rare diseases, to evaluate the impact of the policy actions through continuing surveillance of CA by EUROCAT, and to regularly update the scientific evidence underpinning the recommendations.
EUROCAT (2013), EUROCAT Special Report: Primary Prevention of Congenital Anomalies in European Countries, EUROCAT Central Registry, University of Ulster [Report]
EUROCAT (European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies)/EUROPLAN Recommendations on policies to be considered for the primary prevention of congenital anomalies in National Plans and Strategies on Rare Diseases (uploaded March 2013) [Recommendations]
Risk Factors Review
List of Risk Factor Publications
EUROCAT Special Report: A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies
Related Systematic Reviews of Interest
EUROCAT (2004) "EUROCAT Special Report: A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies", EUROCAT Central Registry, University of Ulster, ISBN 1-85923-187-X
Part I (Overview of Principles and Methods in Identifying the Causes of Congenital Anomalies) and Part II (Selected Environemntal Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies) [Report]
Part III (Environmental Pollution and Congenital Anomalies) [Report]
Obesity (October 2004) [Report]
Testing for Teratogenicity: The Current Situation in Europe (March 2007) [Report]
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Related Systematic Reviews of Interest
Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Dadvand P, Grellier J, Martinez D and Vrijheid M (2013). Environmental risk factors of pregnancy outcomes: a summary of recent meta-analyses of epidemiological studies. Environmental Health, 12, 6.
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Zwink N, Jenetzky E and Brenner H (2011). Parental risk factors and anorectal malformations: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 6, 25
de-Regil LM, Fernandez-Gaxiola AC, Dowswell T and Pena-Rosas JP (2010). Folic acid supplementation before conception and in early pregnancy (up to 12 weeks) for the prevention of birth defects. Cochrane Summaries
Jentink J, Dolk H, Loane MA, Morris JK, Wellesley D, Garne E, de Jong-van den Berg L on behalf of the EUROCAT Antiepileptic Study Working Group (2010). Intrauterin exposure to carbamazepine and specific congenital malformations: Systemic review and case-control study. British Medical Journal, 341, C6581
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Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Martinez D, Grellier J, Bennett J, Best N, Iszatt N, Vrijheid M and Toledano MB (2009). Chlorination disinfection by-products in drinking water and congenital anomalies: Review and meta-analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117, (10), 1486-1493
Stothard KJ et al (2009). Maternal overweight and obesity and the risk of congenital anomalies. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 301, (6), 636-650.
Cordier S (2008). Evidence for a role of paternal exposures in developmental toxicity. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 102, 176-181.
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