Monitoring of congenital anomalies in Latvia

Irisa Zīle, Anita Villeruša, Mika Gissler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This study provides a description and analysis of characteristics of the monitoring system for congenital anomalies at birth and prevalence trends in Latvia using retrospective analysis of congenital anomalies at birth with cross-sectional data on prevalence (national data from Latvia, 2000-2010). Methods: There are three main monitoring systems on congenital anomalies among newborns and infants: the Medical Birth Register with data on live births with one or more congenital anomalies at birth, the Register on Congenital Anomalies with genetically approved cases for live births and the National Causes of Death Register with data on stillbirths. Methodological problems were analysed by calculating different prevalence rates. The main outcome measures are as follows: prevalence rate, live birth prevalence rate, major congenital anomalies live birth prevalence rate, and stillbirth rate. Results: The live birth period prevalence was 319.7/10,000 live births, and the major congenital anomalies live birth prevalence was 211.4/10,000. The period total prevalence rate of births was 323.7/10,000 live births and stillbirths. The stillbirth rate due to congenital anomalies was 6.1/10,000 live and stillbirths. The live birth prevalence with congenital anomalies decreased slightly from the year 2000 to the year 2010. Conclusions: The present system of congenital anomaly registration requires improvements for better completeness. Latvia should use the experience of Nordic countries and introduce a mother’s and children’s identification number to the Medical Birth Register. It would be helpful to link the information from hospitals and perinatal centres together to validate the congenital anomaly diagnoses of newborns after their discharge from the maternity unit. The monitoring system should also include information on pregnancies with congenital anomalies which do not end in birth, especially terminations of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalCentral European Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Congenital anomalies at birth
  • Medical birth register
  • Monitoring system
  • Prevalence

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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