The Australian Congenital Anomalies Monitoring System (ACAMS) contains data based on notifications of major congenital anomalies to individual registers of congenital conditions and birth defects registers in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia and on data collected on congenital anomalies in Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The Northern Territory is currently unable to provide data in a format enabling it to be compiled with data from the other states and territories. Some summary data have been provided by the Northern Territory for inclusion in the ACAMS. Congenital anomalies are mainly notified from data collected as part of perinatal collections. Other sources of data include perinatal death certificates, cytogenetic or pathology reports, admitted patient data, maternal and child health nurses and medical officers.
Information is included on live births and stillbirths of 20 weeks gestational age or more or 400 grams birthweight or more (including induced abortions) with a congenital anomaly for all states and the Australian Capital Territory. Information on induced abortions of less than 20 weeks gestational age and less than 400 grams weight with a congenital anomaly is only available for four states and is included for: New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. Births included in the ACAMS are also included in the National Perinatal Data Collection.
The period of notification varies among the state and territory collections and ranges from prenatal diagnosis to notification up to 15 years of age. For New South Wales, the data include births with congenital conditionsnotified up to 1 year of age. The data for Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia include births with congenital anomalies notified up to 15 years, 6 years and 5 years of age respectively. The data for Queensland, Tasmania, and the Australia Capital Territory include births with congenital anomalies notified in the perinatal period.
Data items relating to the woman, including demographic characteristics and factors relating to the birth, and data items relating to the baby, including, birthweight, gestational age and sex, are included. Congenital anomalies are coded using the British Paediatric Association Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-BPA), which is based on the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD-9).
ACAMS supersedes the National Congenital Malformations and Birth Defects Data Collection (NCMBD), which commenced in 1981 in response to claims of increased incidence of congenital anomalies in small areas of Australia. Data were provided by four jurisdictions in 1998–1985 and all states and territories provided data from 1986. Data are included up to and including the 1997 birth cohort. The NCMBD data collection was reviewed in 2004 and the development of the ACAMS was a recommendation of the review.
For futher information please contact the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.