Hypospadias Prevalence and Trends in International Birth Defect Surveillance Systems, 1980–2010

Xiao Yu, Natasha Nassar, Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo, Mark Canfield, Boris Groisman, Eva Bermejo-Sánchez, Annukka Ritvanen, Sonja Kiuru-Kuhlefelt, Adriana Benavides, Antonin Sipek, Anna Pierini, Fabrizio Bianchi, Karin Källén, Miriam Gatt, Margery Morgan, David Tucker, M. Aaurora Canessa, Rosa Gajardo, Osvaldo M. Mutchinick, Elena SzabovaMelinda Csáky-Szunyogh, Giovanna Tagliabue, Janet D. Cragan, Wendy N. Nembhard, Anke Rissmann, Dorit Goetz, Carol Bower, Gareth Baynam, R. Brian Lowry, Juan A. Leon, Wei Luo, Jocelyn Rouleau, Ignacio Zarante, Nicolas Fernandez, Emmanuelle Amar, Saeed Dastgiri, Paolo Contiero, Laura E. Martínez-de-Villarreal, Barry Borman, J. E.H. Bergman, Hermien E.K. de Walle, Charlotte A. Hobbs, Amy E. Nance, A. J. Agopian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)



Hypospadias is a common male birth defect that has shown widespread variation in reported prevalence estimates. Many countries have reported increasing trends over recent decades.


To analyze the prevalence and trends of hypospadias for 27 international programs over a 31-yr period.

Design, setting, and participants

The study population included live births, stillbirths, and elective terminations of pregnancy diagnosed with hypospadias during 1980–2010 from 27 surveillance programs around the world.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

We used joinpoint regression to analyze changes over time in international total prevalence of hypospadias across programs, prevalence for each specific program, and prevalence across different degrees of severity of hypospadias.

Results and limitations

The international total prevalence of hypospadias for all years was 20.9 (95% confidence interval: 19.2–22.6) per 10 000 births. The prevalence for each program ranged from 2.1 to 39.1 per 10 000 births. The international total prevalence increased 1.6 times during the study period, by 0.25 cases per 10 000 births per year (p < 0.05). When analyzed separately, there were increasing trends for first-, second-, and third-degree hypospadias during the early 1990s to mid-2000s. The majority of programs (61.9%) had a significantly increasing trend during many of the years evaluated. Limitations include known differences in data collection methods across programs.


Although there have been changes in clinical practice and registry ascertainment over time in some countries, the consistency in the observed increasing trends across many programs and by degrees of severity suggests that the total prevalence of hypospadias may be increasing in many countries. This observation is contrary to some previous reports that suggested that the total prevalence of hypospadias was no longer increasing in recent decades.

Patient summary

We report on the prevalence and trends of hypospadias among 27 birth defect surveillance systems, which indicate that the prevalence of hypospadias continues to increase internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-490
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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