LIH & the Ministry of Health contributed to six publications on European perinatal health

2016 - 09 - 07

LIH & the Ministry of Health contributed to six publications on European perinatal health

Luxembourg participates in EURO-PERISTAT, a multinational network which aims at establishing a high quality, innovative and sustainable European perinatal health information system. Between January and July 2016, members of the scientific committee of EURO-PERISTAT published no less than six scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals based on the analysis of indicators for perinatal health surveillance. All publications contain data from Luxembourg assembled at LIH’s Department of Population Health.

EURO-PERISTAT began in 1999 as part of the EU's Health Monitoring Programme. It has official representation from 31 countries across Europe and a large network of contributing experts. The network is steadily expanding to include more countries. LIH, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, provides national data to the network since 2004.

In Luxembourg, data from all maternities and independent midwives is collected to obtain an overview of the state of health of mothers and their babies. Every child birth on the territory is recorded in the surveillance system. Thanks to the use of a single medical database by the healthcare personal, Luxembourg is the only country in Europe providing both highly standardised and fully exhaustive data. Since 2009, LIH is able to monitor 10 core and 20 recommended indicators perinatal health developed by EURO-PERISTAT. These indicators allow to assess foetal, neonatal, child and maternal health, population characteristics and risk factors as well as perinatal healthcare services.

At the Department of Population Health, the Luxembourg data for the six studies was gathered and analysed by project leader Aline Lecomte and data manager Audrey Billy who are both also responsible for generating more extensive yearly data for national reports (see recently published triennial report on perinatal health). Dr Yolande Wagener from the Ministry of Health and Aline Lecomte are part of the scientific committee of EURO-PERISTAT. ‘By participating to the EURO-PERISTAT project, we can contribute to the development of health recommendations and the improvement of the quality of perinatal healthcare services on a European level’, emphasises Ms Lecomte.

The published results are amongst others about the variations in multiple birth rates, the declines in stillbirth and neonatal mortality observed between 2004 and 2010 and the differences in mode of delivery across Europe (vaginal or Caesarean section). Luxembourg did not particularly stand out from the other countries for the studied variables except for a more pronounced increase in the rate of twin births between 2004 and 2010.