Background Over the last decades the prevalence of hypospadia has been reported with increasing trends, but with widespread variation across countries.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and trend of hypospadia over 23 years in a Danish population.
Design Population-based study of all infants born in the period 1986–2009 in Funen County, diagnosed with hypospadias and reported to the EUROCAT registry of congenital anomalies.
Cases were included only if surgery for hypospadias was performed or planned.
Results 201 cases of hypospadias were registered in 1986–2009 with an overall prevalence of 15.2 pr 10000 births. (95% CI: 12.2 to 17.9). The prevalence of hypospadias increased from 4.1 in 1986 to 15.1 in 2009 with a peak prevalence in 2002 at 25.5 per 10000 births. The increase in prevalence was significant comparing the years 1986–1999 to 2000–2009 (p<0.001).
From 2000–2009 it was possible to specify the degree-of-severity of hypospadia. Infants with hypospadia as an isolated congenital anomaly were more likely to have a mild form of hypospadia (93%) while cases with associated congenital anomalies had a lower proportion of mild hypospadias (58%) (p<0,001).
Conclusion The prevalence of hypospadias has increased in a Danish county from 1986–2009 although from 2002 the rate seems to be levelling off. The aetiology of isolated hypospadias is multifactorial (paternal, maternal, endocrine and environmental factors). It is mandatory to have a comparable surveillance system in place to assess rates properly between countries in order to monitor changes in potential risk factors.
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