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Medical Birth Registry of Norway

The Medical Birth Registry (MBRN) is a national health registry containing information about all births in Norway. The registry will help to clarify the causes and consequences of health problems related to pregnancy and birth, as well as to monitor the incidence of congenital abnormalities.

All maternity units in Norway must notify births to the MBRN. The notification form includes the name and personal identity number of the child and parents, as well as information about maternal health before and during pregnancy, and any complications during pregnancy or birth. This includes information about medicine use in pregnancy, labour interventions, birth complications, maternal complications after birth, whether the baby is born alive, any diagnoses in the child or evidence of congenital abnormalities.

Information about the father's occupation and smoking habits, and the mother's occupation, smoking and alcohol habits are only registered if the mother consents. This also applies to information about assisted conception.

All pregnancies ending after week 12 are notifiable to the MBRN, including terminations after week 12. 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health manages the MBRN, and is the registry and data controller. Collection and processing of health data in the Medical Birth Registry is governed by the MBRN-regulations (in Norwegian only).

Electronic notification of births

The country's maternity units are responsible for notifying births to the MBRN. The Ministry of Health and Care Services, pursuant to the MBRN Regulations, requires health authorities to notify births electronically. The aim is to streamline and improve the reporting quality of birth notification. Any systems that will provide electronic notification of birth must be approved by the MBRN. 

eMBRN

As part of the national health registry project, the eMBRN project was initiated in 2010. One of the main objectives was to develop and implement new versions of electronic maternity, child and abortion notifications where pre-coded information can be used. The project will also develop MBRN’s internal IT system for receipt and quality assurance of relevant work processes.

Assisted conception

The MBRN is also responsible for collecting, registering and analysing data for children born following assisted conception in Norway. All public and private institutions that are licensed to carry out assisted conception must notify the MBRN about treatments that result in pregnancy. The purpose is to identify whether assisted conception represents an increased risk for health problems during pregnancy.

What is the information used for?

The information reported to the MBRN provides knowledge and information about maternal and child health problems during pregnancy and birth. The information is used for: 

  • Surveillance 
  • Research, with the aim of preventing health problems 
  • Providing a scientific basis for advice and information to healthcare professionals, authorities and the general public 
  • Management, planning and quality assurance of health services and health administration 
  • Compilation of statistics

MBRNs research relates to "causal factors of significance for disease and disability in newborns and infants." It is essentially in two parts: partly to clarify the causes of birth defects and other health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth and partly to illustrate the consequences of such risk factors for later health and disability.

Links to other registers

To ensure data quality, the MBRN is routinely linked with the Central Population Register. For the production of statistics and in connection with research projects, the MBRN can be linked with the other central health registries (Cancer Registry of Norway, Cause of Death Registry, Norwegian Prescription Database, Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases, the Central Tuberculosis Registry and the Norwegian Immunisation Registry).

Access to research data and statistics

The MBRN will help to make data easily accessible and has a designated section that retrieves and prepares data from the birth registry for researchers and others. If you need additional data or statistics beyond those published on our website, please contact us.

Rights of individuals registered in MBRN

The information in the MBRN will be kept indefinitely, unless otherwise specified by the MBRN regulations or Health Register Act. The information is anonymised using a code system. Anyone who is registered in the MBRN can request correction or deletion of registered information about themselves or their child, if there is evidence that it is incorrect or incomplete. When research results from MBRN are published, information that could identify individuals or small groups must not be disclosed. Information from MBRN is only released if the necessary permits are granted or disclosure is authorised by statute or regulation.