Evaluation of the birth certificates as source of information on birth defects

OBJECTIVE: To obtain the prevalence of birth defects in a live birth cohort, linking the live birth information system (SINASC) and the mortality information system (SIM) databases. METHODS: Descriptive study to assess linked databases of hospital live births (LB) and neonatal deaths of resident mothers that occurred in the city of São Paulo, between January 1st, 2006 and June 30th, 2006. RESULTS:According to the SINASC, the most prevalent birth defects (BD) were: BD and musculoskeletal system deformity (44.7%), nervous system BD (10.0%) and chromosomal anomalies (8.6%). There was 80.0% of recovery of circulatory system BD, 73.3% of respiratory system BD and 62.5% of digestive system BD in the linked database. Linked data set identified BD in 640 live births; the SINASC accounted for 55.2% of notifications and the SIM for 44.8%. The prevalence rate of BD based on SINASC data was 75.4%00 LB. This rate showed an increase of 14.3% when obtained from the linked dataset (86.2%00 LB). CONCLUSION: Linkage of the live birth (SINASC) and mortality systems (SIM) provides a more real BD profile. BDs notified by the SINASC were more visible at birth, while the SIM notified more fatal BD, showing the importance of utilizing both data sources.

Birth defects; Linkage; Birth certificate; Death certificate; Information system; Prevalence

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