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European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies. WHO Collaborating Centre for the Epidemiological Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies Supported by the EU-Commission Public Health Directorate Programme of Community Action on Rare Diseases. What is EUROCAT?.

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european surveillance of congenital anomalies

European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies

WHO Collaborating Centre for the Epidemiological Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies

Supported by the EU-Commission Public Health Directorate Programme of Community Action on Rare Diseases

what is eurocat
  • European network of population-based registries for the epidemiologic surveillance of congenital anomalies.
  • Started in 1979
  • More than 1 million births surveyed per year in Europe
  • 37 registries in 18 countries of Europe
  • Standardised database on >250,000 cases of congenital anomaly among livebirths, stillbirths and terminations of pregnancy since 1980
public health importance
Public Health Importance
  • 2% + births
  • 20% stillbirths and infant deaths
  • Childhood morbidity and lifelong disability
objectives of eurocat
Objectives of EUROCAT
  • To provide essential epidemiologic information on congenital anomalies in Europe
  • To facilitate the early warning of teratogenic exposures
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of primary prevention
  • To assess the impact of developments in prenatal screening
  • To act as an information and resource centre for the population and health professionals regarding clusters or exposures or risk factors of concern
  • To provide a ready collaborative network and infrastructure for research related to the causes and prevention of congenital anomalies and the treatment and care of affected children
  • To act as a catalyst for the setting up of registries throughout Europe collecting comparable, standardised data
eurocat working groups and committees
EUROCAT Working Groups and Committees
  • Drugs
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Coding and Classification (incl monitoring of multiple malformations)
  • Ethics and confidentiality
  • Periconceptional folic acid and NTD
  • Assisted conception
  • Revision of EUROCAT Guide 1.3
  • Clusters and statistical surveillance
new innovations for edmp
New innovations for EDMP
  • Statistical monitoring: trend test and scan test
  • Calculates prevalence rates and produces standard tables
  • Binary anomaly subgroups drawing on ICD9 and ICD10 codes
eurocat guide 1 3 revision
EUROCAT Guide 1.3 revision
  • Improved drug (ATC) coding
  • Updated coding of prenatal screening/diagnosis
  • Coding of sociodemographic variables
  • Data Quality Indicators
primary prevention
Primary Prevention
  • Survey of policy and practice in relation to periconceptional folic acid supplementation and fortification in 18 European countries
    • Analysis of neural tube defect prevalence up to 2000
    • EUROCAT Special Report May 2003
  • To be updated yearly
  • Available on website:
prenatal screening
Prenatal screening
  • Terminations of pregnancy – 1% cases 1980 to 16% (max 31%) 1999
  • Joint impact of changes in maternal age and prenatal screening on livebirth prevalence of Down Syndrome
  • Impact of prenatal screening and termination of pregnancy on perinatal mortality
eurocat cluster advisory service
EUROCAT Cluster Advisory Service
  • Web-based
  • Make accumulated European (and American) experience easily accessible to registries/local health authorities
  • Balance epidemiologic investigation with appropriate risk communication and public health response
  • To be expanded to methodology for proactively investigating environmental exposures
research projects
Research projects
  • Gastroschisis case-control study (ICBD)
  • World Oral Clefts epidemiology (WHO, ICBD)
  • Maternal-age specific Down Syndrome risks after age 40 (Morris, Alberman & Mutton)
  • Congenital Anomalies in twins (Pharoah)
  • Effect of prenatal diagnosis on postnatal outcome for selected cardiac anomalies (Garne)
  • Data available to European researchers