Although congenital anomalies are one of the leading causes of infant death in Canada, the rate is decreasing.1 The Public Health Agency of Canada stated that the decreasing rate of infant deaths is most likely a result of increasing prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancies when congenital anomalies are diagnosed.2
1Public Health Agency of Canada. Perinatal Health Indicators for Canada 2011. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada; 2012.
2Public Health Agency of Canada and the Congenital Anomalies Surveillance Network, 2008
It is important to monitor congenital anomalies for possible associations with environmental factors, as the human genome responds to the environment in a very dynamic fashion.3 In an effort to facilitate health service planning, methods for collecting information regarding congenital anomalies in Canada could be improved for more accessible and reliable data.
3Health Canada. Congenital Anomalies in Canada — A Perinatal Health Report, 2002. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada; 2002