Arizona Birth Defects Monitoring Program

About Us

The Arizona Birth Defects Monitoring Program (ABDMP) is a population-based, state-wide, active registry of children with a reportable birth defect diagnosed within the first year of life.

ABDMP is a surveillance system for the collection, management, and analysis of information on the incidence of birth defects.

The ABDMP is designed to meet the needs of the public who demand a systematic surveillance of birth defects, which provide accurate, complete and timely incidence data for fifteen counties of Arizona, with approximately 70,000 live births and 400 fetal deaths annually.


The Arizona legislature initially provided the appropriation needed to begin the program in 1986. In 1988 Arizona Revised Statute § 36-133 was passed, mandating the reporting of birth defects in the whole state.

Originally, the ABDMP was collecting over 500 diagnostic codes. However, due to the need to collect and report data in a more timely manner, in March 1996 the number of reportable conditions was reduced to 140 diagnostic codes, starting with 1992 data.

  • Case Definitions define the criteria needed for inclusion in the Birth Defects Monitoring Program case file.

Program Objectives

ABDMP performs activities related birth defects within three different components:

  • Surveillance
  • Prevention
  • Referral

Specific objectives include:

  • To reduce the incidence of birth defects in Arizona from preventable causes.
  • To produce accurate statistics regarding the occurrence of birth defects in Arizona.
  • To identify, report, and investigate various birth defects trends, high-risk populations, and high risk locations.
  • To provide a resource for information about the incidence and epidemiology of birth defects for researchers, health professionals, hospitals, local health agencies, and others with a valid scientific or public health interest
  • Assure 100% participation by hospitals and other institutions targeted for the program.
  • Operate and maintain a population-based Birth Defects Registry; evaluate and enhance the system as needed to meet changing requirements.
  • Develop strategies to reduce and/or prevent birth defects and stillbirths resulting from exposure to environmental contaminants.
  • Develop enhanced research and analytic capabilities to interpret data and disseminate timely information.
  • Provide a service-oriented surveillance system with sufficient data that can be used in planning health care services, program development and the subsequent assessment and evaluation of these programs and services.

Case Finding

Data is currently available for infants born in the years 1986 through 2008.

The ABDMP staff is currently abstracting data for 2009 and 2010 births.

  • Case Finding Process is the strategy used to identify potential cases of infants who may have a reportable birth defect diagnosed within the first year of life.

The registry uses multiple sources of data to gather information on the birth defects cases, and it includes both live-born and stillborn children born in Arizona to Arizona residents.

  • Data Sources are the various sources from which the ABDMP staff obtain information on birth defect cases