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Reprod Toxicol. 2003 Nov-Dec;17(6):659-66.

The congenital anomalies registry in Belarus: a tool for assessing the public health impact of the Chernobyl accident.

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National Research Institute for Hereditary and Inborn Diseases, UI. Orlovskaya 66, 220035 Minsk, Belarus.


A national population-based malformation registry (BNR) has been in operation since 1979 in Belarus, one of the countries most heavily exposed to the contamination from the Chernobyl accident of 26 April 1986. We describe its methodology and its compliance with established criteria, evaluate the completeness of its reporting, and analyze the data collected in four administrative regions with contrasting contamination levels from 1983 through 1999. Nine easily diagnosed malformations have been monitored since 1983. Reporting completeness exceeds 85% for all periods and all regions. In all periods, the prevalence at birth of these malformations was lower in the most contaminated regions and showed a similar positive time trend in areas of low and high contamination. We conclude that the BNR is a reliable tool for studying the possible effects on congenital malformations caused by the Chernobyl accident. Although the trend we observed may be explained by better ascertainment and prenatal diagnosis, a real increase cannot be ruled out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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