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Direct link to this page: http://www.eurocat-network.eu/preventionandriskfactors/primaryprevention


Primary Prevention


EUROCAT (2013), EUROCAT Special Report: Primary Prevention of Congenital Anomalies in European Countries, EUROCAT Central Registry, University of Ulster [Report]

EUROCAT (European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies)/EUROPLAN Recommendations on policies to be considered for the primary prevention of congenital anomalies in National Plans and Strategies on Rare Diseases (uploaded March 2013) [Recommendations]

Primary Prevention of Congenital Rubella Syndrome


WHO EURO (in combination with the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC)) have a renewed commitment in agreement with EU Member States to measles and rubella elimination and prevention of congenital rubella syndrome in the WHO European Region by 2015 http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/119546/RC60_edoc15.pdf.


For more information:

View the ECDC’s Technical Report - Survey on rubella, rubella in pregnancy and congenital rubella surveillance systems in EU/EEA countries http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/survey-rubella-pregnancy-congenital-surveillance-systems-may-2013.pdf.

View the ECDC’s health topic page on rubella


Risk Factors Review

     List of Risk Factor Publications

     EUROCAT Special Report: A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies

     Related Systematic Reviews of Interest




EUROCAT (2004)  "EUROCAT Special Report: A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies", EUROCAT Central Registry, University of Ulster, ISBN 1-85923-187-X


Part I (Overview of Principles and Methods in Identifying the Causes of Congenital Anomalies) and Part II (Selected Environemntal Risk Factors for Congenital Anomalies) [Report]


Part III (Environmental Pollution and Congenital Anomalies) [Report]



     Obesity (October 2004) [Report]


     Testing for Teratogenicity: The Current Situation in Europe (March 2007) [Report]

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Related Systematic Reviews of Interest


Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Dadvand P, Grellier J, Martinez D and Vrijheid M (2013). Environmental risk factors of pregnancy outcomes: a summary of recent meta-analyses of epidemiological studies. Environmental Health, 12, 6.
Link: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/pdf/1476-069X-12-6.pdf

Balsells M, Garcia-Patterson A, Gich I and Corcoy R (2012). Major congential malformations in women with gestational diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 28, 252-257.

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dmrr.1304/pdf

Flak AL, Tark JY, Tinker SC, Correa A and Cogswell ME (2012). Major, non-chromosomal, birth defects and maternal physical activity: A systemic review. Birth Defects Research (Part A)

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bdra.23017/pdf

Govarts E, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Schoeters G, Ballester F, Bloemen K, de Boer M, Chevier C, Eggesbo M, Guxens M, Kramer U, Legler J, Martinez D, Palkovicova L, Patelarou E, Ranft U, Rautio A, Petersen MS, Slama R, Stigum H, Toft G, Trnovec T, Vandentorren S, Weihe P, Kuperus NW, Wilhelm M, Wittsiepe J and Bonde JP (2012). Birth weight and prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE): A meta-analsyis within 12 Europen birth cohorts. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120, (2), 162-170.

Link: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info:doi/10.1289/ehp.1103767

Hackshaw A et al (2011). Maternal smoking in pregnancy and birth defects: a systematic review based on 173 687 malformed cases and 11.7 million controls. Human Reproduction, 17, (5), 589-604.

Link: http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/5/589.full.pdf+html

Vrijheid M, Martinez D, Manzanares S, Dadvand P, Schembari A, Rankin J and Nieuwenhuijsen M (2011). Ambient air pollution and risk of congenital anomalies: A systemic review and meta-analysis. Environmental Health Persepctives, 119 (5), 598-606.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3094408/pdf/ehp-119-598.pdf

Zwink N, Jenetzky E and Brenner H (2011). Parental risk factors and anorectal malformations: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 6, 25

Link: http://www.ojrd.com/content/pdf/1750-1172-6-25.pdf

de-Regil LM, Fernandez-Gaxiola AC, Dowswell T and Pena-Rosas JP (2010). Folic acid supplementation before conception and in early pregnancy (up to 12 weeks) for the prevention of birth defects. Cochrane Summaries

Link: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD007950/folic-acid-supplements-before-conception-and-in-early-pregnancy-up-to-12-weeks-for-the-prevention-of-birth-defects

Jentink J, Dolk H, Loane MA, Morris JK, Wellesley D, Garne E, de Jong-van den Berg L on behalf of the EUROCAT Antiepileptic Study Working Group (2010). Intrauterin exposure to carbamazepine and specific congenital malformations: Systemic review and case-control study. British Medical Journal, 341, C6581

Link: http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6581.pdf%2Bhtml

Martinez-Frias M-L (2010). Can our understanding on epigenetics assist with primary prevention of congenital defects? Journal of Medical Genetics, 47, (2), 73-80.

Link: http://jmg.bmj.com/content/47/2/73.full.pdf

Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Martinez D, Grellier J, Bennett J, Best N, Iszatt N, Vrijheid M and Toledano MB (2009). Chlorination disinfection by-products in drinking water and congenital anomalies: Review and meta-analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117, (10), 1486-1493

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790500/pdf/ehp-117-1486.pdf?tool=pmcentrez


Stothard KJ et al (2009). Maternal overweight and obesity and the risk of congenital anomalies. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 301, (6), 636-650.

Link: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/301/6/636.full.pdf+html


Cordier S (2008). Evidence for a role of paternal exposures in developmental toxicity. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 102, 176-181.

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2007.00162.x/pdf

Jenkins KJ, Correa A, Feinstein JA, Botto L, Britts AE, Daniels SR, Elixson M, Warnes CA and Webb CL (2007). Non-inherited risk factors and congenital cardiovascular defects: Current knowledge. Circulation, 115, 2995-3014.

Link: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/115/23/2995

Browne ML (2006). Maternal exposure to caffeine and risk of congenital anomalies: A systemic review. Epidemiology, 17 (3), 324-331.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16570025

da Silva Dal Pizzol T, Knop FP and Mengue SS (2006). Prenatal exposure to misoprostol and congenital anomalies: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Reproductive Toxicology, 22, 666-671.

Link: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0890623806000931/1-s2.0-S0890623806000931-main.pdf?_tid=b352e94ae0cde82b7c70635f544c6111&acdnat=1340630433_3e0021dd6fc39dc634358bd8eb3219c5

Goh YI, Bollano E, Einarson TR and Koren G (2006). Prenatal multivitamin supplementation and rates of congenital anomalies: A meta-analysis. J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 28, (8), 680-689.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17022907

Ngo AD, Taylor R, Roberts CL and Nguyen TV (2006). Association between agent orange and birth defects: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol.

Link: http://www.vn-agentorange.org/edmaterials/ije_paper.pdf

Hansen M, Bower C, Milne E, de Klerk N and Kurinczuk JJ (2005). Assisted reproductive technologies and the risk of birth defects - a systematic review. Human Reproduction, 20, (2), 328-338.

Link: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/2/328.full.pdf

Glinianaia SV, Rankin J, Bell R, Pless-Mulloli T and Howel D (2004). Particulate air pollution and fetal health: A systemic review of the epidemiologic evidence. Epidemiology, 15, (1), 36-45.

Link: http://ehs.sph.berkeley.edu/krsmith/CRA/lbw/Glianianaia_2004.pdf

Dolk H and Vrijheid M (2003). The impact of environmental pollution on congenital anomalies. British Medical Bulletin, 68, 25-45.

Link: http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/1/25.full.pdf+html

Hwang BF and Jaakkola JJ (2003). Water chlorination and birth defects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Environ Health, 58, (2), 83-91.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12899208

Whiting P, McDonagh M and Kleijnen J (2001). Association of down’s syndrome and water fluoride level: A systematic review of the evidence. BMC Public Health, 1, 6.

Link: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-1-6.pdf


Arbuckle TE and Sever LE (1998). Pesticide exposure and fetal death: A review of the epidemiological literature. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 28, (3), 229-270.

Link: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10408449891344218

van der Zanden LFM, van Rooij IALM, Franke B, Knoers NVAM, Roeleveld N (2012). Aetiology of hypospadias: A systematic review of genes and environment (Review).  Human Reproduction Update, 18, (3), 260-283.

Link: http://www.scopus.com/record/display.url?eid=2-s2.0-84859950032&origin=resultslist&sort=plf-f&cite=2-s2.0-77953530149&src=s&nlo=&nlr=&nls=&imp=t&sid=wIEPCMrYkpB5H_woGE4GKCM%3a890&sot=cite&sdt=a&sl=0&relpos=4&relpos=4&searchTerm


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