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Home > Global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder among children and youth: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lange, Shannon and Probst, Charlotte and Gmel, Gerrit (2017) Global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder among children and youth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics , 171 , (10) , pp. 948-956. 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1919.

Question: What is the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder among children and youth in the general population?

Findings: In this meta-analysis of 24 unique studies and 1416 unique children and youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, approximately 8 of 1000 in the general population had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and 1 of every 13 pregnant women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy delivered a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was found to be notably higher among special populations. South Africa was estimated to have the highest prevalence of FASD at 111.1 per 1000 population (95% CI, 71.1-158.4 per 1000 population), followed by Croatia at 53.3 per 1000 population (95% CI, 30.9-81.2 per 1000 population) and Ireland at 47.5 per 1000 population (95% CI, 28.0-73.6 per 1000 population).

Meaning: The prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder among children and youth in the general population exceeds 1% in 76 countries, which underscores the need for universal prevention initiatives targeting maternal alcohol consumption, screening protocols, and improved access to diagnostic services, especially in special populations.


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