EUROCAT is a European network of population-based registries for the epidemiological surveillance of congenital anomalies. It was established in 1979. Currently, with 36 full and 6 associate members in 21 European countries the network surveys close to 1.5 million births per year.
These high quality multiple source registries, ascertaining terminations of pregnancy as well as births, covers about 25% of the European birth population.
Congenital anomalies and public health
Congenital anomalies are structural defects (congenital malformations, deformations, disruptions and dysplasias) and chromosomal abnormalities. They are the major cause of infant mortality, childhood morbidity, long-term disability. They are also the major cause of embryonic and fetal death.
Congenital anomalies are among the leading causes of years of potential life lost, and carry a high burden to affected individuals, their families and the community in terms of quality of life, participation in the community and need for services.