RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Birth defects surveillance: Jefferson County, Alabama, and Uppsala County, Sweden.

Birth defects in live-born infants were documented for 2 years in Jefferson County, Alabama (USA)--1986 and 1987--and in Uppsala County, Sweden--1985 and 1986. A total of 27,561 live births (9,179 white male, 8,728 white female, 4,883 black male, and 4,771 black female infants) occurred in Jefferson County; 6,896 live births (3,535 male and 3,361 female) were recorded in Uppsala County. These newborns were studied to establish a database of birth defects for the two small geographic areas and to study similarities and differences. Rates of hip dislocation, heart malformations, and clubfoot were high in Swedish infants. Similar frequencies of spina bifida and polydactyly were noted in Alabama whites and Swedish infants. Regional registries offer a systematic approach to detection of clustering of specific birth defects, identification of families for further study, location of patients with unique needs, and enhanced coordination of health services, including genetic counseling.

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