Applications of Spatial Analysis in Congenital Anomalies Registries
Background. Despite the potential role of spatial analysis in the investigation of the etiology of birth defects, there are relatively few published data on this field. This aim of this article is to discuss the main applications of spatial analysis in the registries of congenital anomalies. Advantages and limitations of spatial analysis will also be discussed using the data from Tabriz Registry of Congenital Anomalies (TRoCA).
Methods/Design. Some softwares have been designed for spatial analysis. Each software has its specific definition for the points taken as "Place" in mapping the diseases distribution. Point, distribution, proportional and choropletic maps with relevant statistical tests are used for different types of spatial analysis.
Results. A total of 247 695 births with 4704 cases of congenital anomalies have been registered in TRoCA program between 2000 and 2011. Total prevalence of congenital anomalies was 1.9 per 100 births for this period of time.
Conclusion. Large international registries of congenital anomalies can perform multi-level area analysis (i.e., city based, in hospitals, regions, etc) while small registries will have to improve their quality of data and expand the area and population for which the data collected enabling them for more reliable spatial analysis.
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