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The Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program: 35 years of birth defects surveillance at the centers for disease control and prevention

Authors

  • Adolfo Correa-Villaseñor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
    • National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop E-86, Atlanta, GA 30333
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  • Janet Cragan,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
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  • James Kucik,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
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  • Leslie O'Leary,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
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  • Csaba Siffel,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
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  • Laura Williams

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
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  • This article was prepared by a group consisting of both United States government employees and non-United States government employees, and as such is subject to 17 U.S.C. Sec. 105.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) is a population-based birth defects surveillance program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has been collecting, analyzing, and interpreting birth defects surveillance data since 1967. This paper presents an overview of MACDP current methods and accomplishments over the past 35 years.

METHODS

MACDP actively monitors major birth defects among infants born to residents of five counties of metropolitan Atlanta, an area with approximately 50,000 annual births. Cases are ascertained from multiple sources, coded using a modified British Pediatric Association six-digit code, and reviewed and classified by clinical geneticists.

RESULTS

MACDP has monitored trends in birth defects rates and has served as a case registry for descriptive, risk factor, and prognostic studies of birth defects, including studies of Agent Orange exposure among Vietnam War veterans, maternal use of multivitamins, diabetes, febrile illnesses, and survival of children with neural tube defects. MACDP has served as a data source for one of the centers participating in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, and for developing and evaluating neural tube defects prevention strategies related to the periconceptional use of folic acid supplements.

CONCLUSIONS

Since its inception, MACDP has served as a resource for the development of uniform methods and approaches to birth defect surveillance across the United States and in many other countries, monitoring birth defects rates, and as a case registry for various descriptive, etiologic, and survival studies of birth defects. MACDP has also served as a training ground for a large number of professionals active in birth defects epidemiology. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 67:617–624, 2003. Published 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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