50 years of the hungarian congenital abnormality registry

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The mandatory notification of patients ("cases") with different congenital abnormalities (CAs) diagnosed from birth until the end of the first postnatal year by medical doctors was ordered by the Ministry of Health in Hungary in 1962 and this CA-registry was continued as the Hungarian Congenital Abnormality Registry (HCAR) based on the international recommendation from 1970. The primary objective of the HCAR has been to determine the baseline birth prevalence rate of different CAs as reliably as possible, with three secondary objectives: (i) to detect temporal and/or spatial clusters of CAs; (ii) to evaluate increasing or decreasing time trends of CAs; and (iii) to assist in the planning of medical and social services for children and families affected by CA so that appropriate resources are allocated efficiently and effectively. This paper summarizes the activities and the evolution of the HCAR over the past 50 years (1962-2011) including the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities for postmarketing surveillance of drug teratogenicity and prevention of CAs; the special evaluation of unidentified multiple CAs; the Hungarian Surveillance of Germinal Mutations and several international collaborations. In conclusion, Hungary enjoyed optimal conditions for the HCAR due to a centralized state health system; all deliveries took place in inpatient clinics; the quality of pediatric care was high and pediatricians notified most CAs. Autopsy was mandatory in infant death, the staff of the HCAR did not consider this CA-registry only as a statistical system but the Hungarian Center for Congenital Anomaly Control and the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities based on the HCAR worked with close collaboration with the parents in order to promote the possible good quality of life of their affected children and to prevent their risk of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalCongenital anomalies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014



  • Clusters
  • Congenital abnormality
  • National based registry
  • Objectives of registry
  • Postmarketing drug surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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