On 1st March 2019, the Ministry of Health and LIH published the latest report on national perinatal health that discloses the health status of both mothers and babies in Luxembourg over a period of three years, from 2014 to 2016.
The perinatal health surveillance system in Luxembourg is unique in Europe as it is based on a comprehensive data collection system. Installed in all maternity hospitals, among liberal midwives and in the country's two neonatal services, it allows the collection of exhaustive data on deliveries with the help of health professionals and a specific computer software.
Some highlights of the new report titled "Surveillance de la santé périnatale au Luxembourg : Rapport sur les naissances 2014-2015-2016 et leur évolution" are presented below:
The health monitoring of pregnant women is excellent in the country. 99.7% of women are followed by a health professional during their pregnancy and more than 90% consult a doctor from the first trimester of their pregnancy.
For the first time since the existence of the perinatal registry set up in 2009, the number of births decreased (by 2.2%) during the period from 2014 to 2016 while the number of residents steadily increased. In 2016, 6,702 deliveries and 6,855 births were reported.
The rate of multiple births has increased over the years and reached 22.2‰ of the total number of births for the period observed. With this, Luxembourg is considered as a country with a high multiple pregnancy rate. 41.7% of multiple births are due to pregnancies initiated with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
The proportion of pregnant women who smoke tobacco daily or occasionally slightly dropped. 13.4% of women reported smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy and 10.7% during the third trimester. More than one in five women stopped smoking between the first and third trimester of pregnancy. Very few women (0.2%) reported consuming alcohol or other psychoactive substances on a daily basis during pregnancy. The Ministry of Health conduced awareness campaigns on smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy over the past years, which surely contributed to this trend.
The rate of caesarean sections was above 30% in the reporting period (e.g. 32.2% in 2016). At the international level, the increasing rate of caesarean sections is considered as a major public health issue in perinatal health. In Luxembourg, an expert working group had developed national recommendations on the indications for long-term planned caesarean section in 2014. An analysis of the impact of these recommendations is underway.
Overall, the report shows that Luxembourg provides quality healthcare to pregnant women, mothers and babies and reveals relevant evolutions for numerous variables that serve health professionals and policy makers to improve prenatal health and healthcare.
At LIH’s Department of Population Health, Aline Lecomte (project leader), Audrey Billy, Jessica Barré and Dr Sophie Couffignal were involved in data collection and interpretation as well as in editing the report.
Download the report here on the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health.
This news article is based on a press release from the Ministry of Health.