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California birth defects monitoring program

About Us

Our Mission

The California Birth Defects Monitoring Program (CBDMP) collects and analyzes data to identify opportunities for preventing birth defects and improving the health of babies.

Program History

In 1982, California established a groundbreaking program for birth defects monitoring. CBDMP has since become a model for surveillance in other states and a worldwide leader in providing data for birth defects research. CBDMP's Registry database has information amassed from surveillance of over 25 years and 6.25 million births. We strive to gather data on a core group of conditions in a large representative sample of births.

Program Overview

CBDMP performs active case finding for surveillance in select California counties, which are representative of the state's population.  Information is collected on specific congenital and inherited disorders to provide the public, researchers and the medical community with accurate data on birth defects. We set procedures for identifying children with birth defects, reviewing medical records and linking cases with state and national agencies. Data collection focuses on structural malformations including major heart defects, oral clefts, neural tube defects, hypospadias, abdominal wall defects, Down syndrome and other chromosomal defects.

CBDMP monitors the rates of birth defects by geographic and demographic attributes, and We focuses on common birth defects with substantial public health impact. We strive to monitor a large number of representative births in California so that findings will be scientifically meaningful and have a potential to prevent the most widespread conditions threatening today's infants. 

Program Services

With a data collection and analysis framework in place, CBDMP responds to inquiries from the public, research and medical communities. CBDMP provides data for public health reports, needs assessments and program evaluation. CBDMP works to communicate relevant information and identify appropriate resources specifically for California families concerned about birth defects. With many published findings and ongoing monitoring of California births, the CBDMP continues to be a leader in birth defects surveillance.

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

We know that not all birth defects can be prevented, however, the goal is to promote healthy choices to help lower the risk of having a baby born with a birth defect. That means every woman age 15-44 years should be taking steps to prevent birth defects before even thinking about becoming pregnant. To learn more about preventing birth defects, read Tips for Preventing Birth Defects.

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