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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 483–485 | Cite as

Congenital Anomalies Surveillance in Canada

  • R. Brian Lowry
Commentary

Abstract

Congenital anomalies (CA) are present in approximately 3% of all newborn babies and account for about 12% of paediatric hospital admissions. They represent an important public health problem. Surveillance is especially important so that preventive measures such as folic acid fortification can be properly assessed without resorting to a series of ad hoc studies. Canada’s surveillance of CAs is weak, with only Alberta and British Columbia having established sytems. Most provinces have perinatal systems but their CA data are incomplete and they do not capture terminations of pregnancy. The same is true of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s system. A new system, the Fetal Alert Network, has been proposed for Ontario, which represents a start but will require additional sources of ascertainment if it is to be a truly population-based system for Ontario.

Keywords

Congenital anomalies surveillance Canada provinces prevention 

Résumé

Des anomalies congénitales (AC) sont présentes chez environ 3 % des nouveau-nés et sont la cause d’environ 12 % des hospitalisations en pédiatrie. Elles constituent donc un important problème de santé publique. La surveillance est particulièrement importante, car il faut pouvoir évaluer convenablement les mesures de prévention (comme l’enrichissement des aliments en acide folique) sans recourir à une série d’études spéciales. La surveillance des AC présente des lacunes au Canada, où seules l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique ont des systèmes établis à cet effet. La plupart des provinces ont des systèmes de surveillance périnatale, mais leurs données sur les AC sont incomplètes, et les interruptions de grossesse n’y sont pas enregistrées. Il en va de même pour le système de l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada. Un nouveau réseau, le Fetal Alert Network, a été proposé pour l’Ontario; c’est un début, mais pour en faire un système vraiment représentatif de la population ontarienne, il faudra trouver des sources de vérification supplémentaires.

Mots clés

anomalies congénitales surveillance Canada provinces prévention 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alberta Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System, Alberta Health & Wellness, Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of Calgary & Alberta Children’s HospitalCalgaryCanada

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