Letters

Congenital abdominal wall defects in the United Kingdom

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7185.733 (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:733

Sources had different reporting patterns

  1. Simon Clarke, Perinatal research fellow,
  2. Evelyn Dykes, Senior lecturer in paediatric surgery,
  3. Jean Chapple, Honorary senior lecturer in perinatal epidemiology,
  4. Lenore Abramsky, Senior research officer in medical and community genetics
  1. University Hospital, Lewisham, London SE13 6LH
  2. Imperial College School of Medicine, London W2 1PG
  3. Fetal Medicine Centre, Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TG
  4. Department of Paediatric Surgery, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham B4 6NH
  5. West Midlands Perinatal Audit, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham B9 5SS

    EDITOR—Stone et al have a very different view from ours of abdominal wall defects in our regions (former South East Thames and North West Thames).1 As they acknowledge, the cited rates for abdominal wall defects were derived from sources with different reporting patterns. In particular, the rates quoted for England and Wales were from data from the Office for National Statistics,2 which take no account of terminations for abnormalities diagnosed prenatally, whereas the Glasgow and northern England registers have tried to be comprehensive.

    View this table:

    Incidence of abdominal wall defects according to former South East Thames and North West Thames registers, 1992–6

    More appropriate north-south comparisons could have been achieved from the rates reported by individual regional registers such as those in the former South East Thames and North West Thames regions. These registers obtain data in a similar manner to the northern regional registers, with active data collection from …

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