Active Surveillance of Birth Defects Among US Department of Defense Beneficiaries: A Feasibility Study
Interim rept. 1 Jan 1997-30 Jun 1998
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Following the Vietnam War concern regarding the association of military exposures and birth defects has grown. The possibility of such associations remains a source of unease. In order to determine if such an association exists, birth defects surveillance among military families must be conducted. This project compared health record abstraction active surveillance with screening of Department of Defense electronic medical data passive surveillance to detect birth defects among San Diego County military families during the period January 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998. A total of 171 of 5351 infants 3.2 were identified as having a major defect, consistent with national civilian rates. There was approximately 80 concurrence between passive and active surveillance birth defect data, suggesting that use of a hybrid system of electronic data, supplemented with active surveillance in a specific region, is a feasible and cost-effective surveillance program for the geographically dispersed military population.
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