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The role of surveillance in monitoring reproductive health.
Teratog, Carcinog, Mutagen 1984 Jan; 4(1):15-24
The role of surveillance in monitoring reproductive health is discussed. Methods for detecting hazards that culminate in impaired fertility, fetal death, and birth or developmental defects are described. These include observational epidemiology, toxicological studies in laboratory animals, and surveillance. Although observational epidemiology has been the most successful at defining reproductive hazards that are recognized today, surveillance is considered an approach that has potential for identifying reproductive hazards. The Birth Defects Monitoring Program (BDMP) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) are described. Both programs came into existence several years after the thalidomide tragedy, with the implicit mandate of recognizing and controlling such events more quickly. Both systems have shown that it is possible to measure the incidence of birth defects in a timely fashion and determine trends. The BDMP and MACDP data sets provide the basis for epidemiologic studies, particularly studies seeking new etiologic agents. Surveillance can also monitor trends that may suggest research approaches and even provide clues, and generate hypotheses and help establish priorities for research. The authors conclude that a carefully designed and implemented surveillance effort can provide the capability for systematically exploring the relationship between environment and reproduction.
NIOSH-Author; Biological-function; Biological-monitoring; Reproductive-system; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Medical-monitoring; Teratology; Information-systems; Screening-methods
Issue of Publication
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury
Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division