New research estimates the global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among children and youth.
An article published by JAMA Pediatrics estimates the global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among children and youth.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause a wide range of adverse health effects. The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure can have lifelong implications so FASD is costly for society. Updated prevalence estimates are needed to prioritize, plan and deliver health care to high-needs populations, such as children and young people with FASD.
Svetlana Popova, Ph.D., of the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada, and coauthors conducted a meta-analysis of 24 studies including 1,416 children and youth diagnosed with FASD.
The authors report:
Study findings should be considered within the limitations of the data, including different diagnostic guidelines and case definitions in the studies.
"Globally, FASD is a prevalent alcohol-related developmental disability that is largely preventable. The findings highlight the need to establish a universal public health message about the potential harm of prenatal alcohol exposure and a routine screening protocol. Brief interventions should be provided, where appropriate," the article concludes.