Long-term treatment with vitamin K antagonists (vKA) frequently involves complications. The commonest complication is haemorrhage and cases of serious haemorrhage are stated in the literature to occur with a frequency per 1,000 treatment years of 12-108, of which 2-17 are fatal. The majority of deaths associated with haemorrhage are due to intracranial haemorrhage. Notifications of complications of vKA treatment in Denmark are considerably fewer than might be anticipated from the literature. The stability of anticoagulation treatment decreases with the number of drugs administered simultaneously and numerous drugs and other factors interact with the effect of vKA. A series of examples are reviewed and some known drugs which do not interact are mentioned. Non-haemorrhagic side effects of coumarin derivatives are rare. Anticoagulation treatment during pregnancy is associated with very special problems and must be regarded as a specialist task.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the development of the autopsy rate in stillbirths and infant deaths in an 11-year period and evaluate the information gained by performing an autopsy. METHODS: Included in the study were all stillbirths and infant deaths in Funen County, Denmark, in 1986-96. Data sources were death certificates and autopsy reports. RESULTS: The study included 273 stillbirths and 351 deaths in infancy. The rates of stillbirth and infant death did not change significantly during the period. The overall autopsy rate for stillbirths was 70% and for infant deaths 57%. There was a significant decline in autopsy rate during the years 1991-96 as compared with 1986-90 for stillbirths, infant deaths and infant deaths excluding sudden infant death syndrome. In stillbirth, the autopsy changed the diagnosis in 9% of the cases. In 22%, the clinical diagnosis was maintained, but additional information was obtained. In infant death, the numbers were 10% and 40%, respectively. CONCLUSION: In 10% of the autopsies the diagnosis was changed completely, with an impact on genetic counseling as well as on statistical records of causes of death in fetuses and infants. With additional information in 22-40% of the autopsies, the study emphasizes autopsy as a useful investigation.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the impact of induced abortions (IA) on the mortality of infants with congenital malformations in four European regions with different policies on IA and prenatal ultrasound screening for congenital malformations. METHODS: A registry-based collection of data on congenital malformations in four different countries: Ireland (Dublin), Denmark (Funen County), Austria (Styria), and France (Strasbourg). RESULTS: The proportion of infant deaths with malformations ranged from 23 to 44% of all infant deaths with the highest proportion in Dublin, where IA is not allowed and prenatal ultrasound screening not performed. There were highly significant differences in the prevalences of IA (p
Ultrasound scans in the mid trimester of pregnancy are now a routine part of antenatal care in most European countries. With the assistance of Registries of Congenital Anomalies a study was undertaken in Europe. The objective of the study was to evaluate prenatal detection of congenital heart defects (CHD) by routine ultrasonographic examination of the fetus. All congenital malformations suspected prenatally and all congenital malformations, including chromosome anomalies, confirmed at birth were identified from the Congenital Malformation Registers, including 20 registers from the following European countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and Ukrainia. These registries follow the same methodology. The study period was 1996-1998, 709 030 births were covered, and 8126 cases with congenital malformations were registered. If more than one cardiac malformation was present the case was coded as complex cardiac malformation. CHD were subdivided into 'isolated' when only a cardiac malformation was present and 'associated' when at least one other major extra cardiac malformation was present. The associated CHD were subdivided into chromosomal, syndromic non-chromosomal and multiple. The study comprised 761 associated CHD including 282 cases with multiple malformations, 375 cases with chromosomal anomalies and 104 cases with non-chromosomal syndromes. The proportion of prenatal diagnosis of associated CHD varied in relation to the ultrasound screening policies from 17.9% in countries without routine screening (The Netherlands and Denmark) to 46.0% in countries with only one routine fetal scan and 55.6% in countries with two or three routine fetal scans. The prenatal detection rate of chromosomal anomalies was 40.3% (151/375 cases). This rate for recognized syndromes and multiply malformed with CHD was 51.9% (54/104 cases) and 48.6% (137/282 cases), respectively; 150/229 Down syndrome (65.8%) were livebirths. Concerning the syndromic cases, the detection rate of deletion 22q11, situs anomalies and VATER association was 44.4%, 64.7% and 46.6%, respectively. In conclusion, the present study shows large regional variations in the prenatal detection rate of CHD with the highest rates in European regions with three screening scans. Prenatal diagnosis of CHD is significantly higher if associated malformations are present. Cardiac defects affecting the size of the ventricles have the highest detection rate. Mean gestational age at discovery was 20-24 weeks for the majority of associated cardiac defects.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart diseases by ultrasound investigation in well-defined European populations. DESIGN: Data from 20 registries of congenital malformations in 12 European countries were included. The prenatal ultrasound screening programs in the countries ranged from no routine screening to three ultrasound investigations per patient routinely performed. RESULTS: There were 2454 cases with congenital heart disease with an overall prenatal detection rate of 25%. Termination of pregnancy was performed in 293 cases (12%). There was considerable variation in prenatal detection rate between regions, with the lowest detection rates being in countries without ultrasound screening (11%) and in Eastern European countries (Croatia, Lithuania and Ukraine; 8%). In Western European countries with ultrasound screening, detection rate ranged from 19-48%. There was a significant difference in prenatal detection rate and proportion of induced abortions between isolated congenital heart disease and congenital heart disease associated with chromosome anomalies, multiple malformations and syndromes (P
AIM: To report the epidemiology, associated malformations, morbidity and mortality for the first 5 years of life for infants with gastrointestinal malformations (GIM). METHODS: Population-based study using data from a registry of congenital malformations (Eurocat) and follow-up data from hospital records. The study included livebirths, fetal deaths with a gestational age of 20 weeks and older and induced abortions after prenatal diagnosis of malformations born during the period 1980 - 1993. RESULTS: A total of 109 infants/fetuses with 118 GIM were included in the study giving a prevalence of 15.3 (12.6 - 18.5) cases per 10 000 births. Anal atresia was present in seven of the 9 cases with more than one GIM. There were 38 cases (35 %) with associated malformations and/or karyotype anomalies. Thirty-two of the 90 live-born infants died during the first 5 years of life with the majority of deaths during the first week of life. Mortality was significantly increased for infants with associated malformations or karyotype anomalies compared to infants with isolated GIM (p
To examine the effect of maternal exposure to asthma medications on the risk of congenital anomalies.
Meta-analysis of aggregated data from three cohort studies.
Linkage between healthcare databases and EUROCAT congenital anomaly registries.
519 242 pregnancies in Norway (2004-2010), Wales (2000-2010) and Funen, Denmark (2000-2010).
Exposure defined as having at least one prescription for asthma medications issued (Wales) or dispensed (Norway, Denmark) from 91 days before to 91 days after the pregnancy start date. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated separately for each register and combined in meta-analyses.
ORs for all congenital anomalies and specific congenital anomalies.
Overall exposure prevalence was 3.76%. For exposure to asthma medication in general, the adjusted OR (adjOR) for a major congenital anomaly was 1.21 (99% CI 1.09-1.34) after adjustment for maternal age and socioeconomic position. The OR of anal atresia was significantly increased in pregnancies exposed to inhaled corticosteroids (3.40; 99% CI 1.15-10.04). For severe congenital heart defects, an increased OR (1.97; 1.12-3.49) was associated with exposure to combination treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-2-agonists. Associations with renal dysplasia were driven by exposure to short-acting beta-2-agonists (2.37; 1.20-4.67).
The increased risk of congenital anomalies for women taking asthma medication is small with little confounding by maternal age or socioeconomic status. The study confirmed the association of inhaled corticosteroids with anal atresia found in earlier research and found potential new associations with combination treatment. The potential new associations should be interpreted with caution due to the large number of comparisons undertaken.
This cohort study found a small increased risk of congenital anomalies for women taking asthma medication.
Cites: Stat Med. 2004 May 15;23(9):1351-75 PMID 15116347
To explore the prescribing patterns of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) before, during and after pregnancy in six European population-based databases.
Descriptive drug utilisation study.
Six electronic healthcare databases in Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy (Emilia Romagna/Tuscany), Wales and the rest of the UK.
All women with a pregnancy ending in a live or stillbirth starting and ending between 2004 and 2010.
A common protocol was implemented across databases to identify SSRI prescriptions issued (UK) or dispensed (non-UK) in the year before, during or in the year following pregnancy.
The percentage of deliveries in which the woman received an SSRI prescription in the year before, during or in the year following pregnancy. We also compared the choice of SSRIs and changes in prescribing over the study period.
In total, 721 632 women and 862,943 deliveries were identified. In the year preceding pregnancy, the prevalence of SSRI prescribing was highest in Wales [9.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI95 ), 9.4-9.8%] and lowest in Emilia Romagna (3.3%; CI95 , 3.2-3.4%). During pregnancy, SSRI prescribing had dropped to between 1.2% (CI95 , 1.1-1.3%) in Emilia Romagna and 4.5% (CI95 , 4.3-4.6%) in Wales. The higher UK pre-pregnancy prescribing rates resulted in higher first trimester exposures. After pregnancy, SSRI prescribing increased most rapidly in the UK. Paroxetine was more commonly prescribed in the Netherlands and Italian regions than in Denmark and the UK.
The higher SSRI prescribing rates in the UK, compared with other European regions, raise questions about differences in the prevalence and severity of depression and its management in pregnancy across Europe.