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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 24/31, 2015

Missed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Cases

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Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;313(12):1201. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1856

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) often goes undetected in children, either because health care professionals miss the diagnosis or medical records don’t adequately document the signs and symptoms. But if children with FAS aren’t properly diagnosed, they’re excluded from records-based surveillance estimates, which are used to plan clinical services for kids with the syndrome.

Face-to-face assessments consistently find higher FAS prevalence rates than surveillance studies, so the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Surveillance Network II attempted to improve on the accuracy of previous records-based FAS prevalence studies. The investigators used passive reporting and active review of records from multiple sources to identify children aged 7 to 9 years with the disorder in Arizona, Colorado, and New York (Fox DJ et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64[3]:54-57).

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