Description and mission evaluation of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996

Andrew E. Czeizel, Magda Rockenbauer, Csaba Siffel, Erika Varga

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Background: The Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities was established in 1980. This article describes how the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities was first organized and is currently maintained. The baseline statistics are provided and potential venues of postmarketing surveillance of drug teratogenicity and other public health tasks and research are proposed. Methods: Cases with congenital abnormalities and patient controls with Down syndrome were selected from the Hungarian Congenital Abnormality Registry. Population controls without congenital abnormalities were selected from the National Birth Registry on the basis of three matching criteria: sex, week of birth, and district of parent's residence. Three sources of information concerning drug exposures, maternal disorders, and pregnancy complications, among others, were used: (1) prospective and medically recorded data from antenatal care logbooks and discharge summaries; (2) retrospective maternal self-reported data obtained with a structured questionnaire in all the three study groups; and (3) data collected by regional nurse in house visits to nonrespondent cases and patient controls. Twenty-five congenital abnormality groups were evaluated. During the 17-year period of data collection, 22, 843 cases, 38, 151 population controls, and 834 patient controls were incorporated into the data set, constituting the largest population-based case-control data set of congenital abnormalities to date. Results: Demographic features of pregnant women and informative offspring are presented along with the distribution of 25 main groups of congenital abnormalities. Conclusions: This system is appropriate for postmarketing the surveillance of drug teratogenicity, for the improvement of congenital abnormality diagnosis, to get informed consent, to have a communication with parents and to provide material for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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