Many congenital anomalies (CA) are potentially preventable and liable to be reduced by an integrated strategy of primary prevention. In the European context there is a need for a more comprehensive, science-based and consistent approach, especially in those countries in which primary prevention actions are still in their infancy or are relying on sporadic initiatives.

EUROCAT together with EUROPLAN have developed the first comprehensive set of recommendations on policies to be considered for the primary prevention of CA in the European Union. These recommendations have to be considered a 'first step'.

The next steps are to monitor their implementation in national plans or strategies for rare diseases, to evaluate the impact of the policy actions through continuing surveillance of CA by EUROCAT, and to regularly update the scientific evidence underpinning the recommendations.

Risk factors review

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