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Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
December 10, 2003

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: C. S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, Children's Research Center, and Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich (Drs Sokol and Delaney-Black); Department of Family Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City (Dr Nordstrom).


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Pressman Lovinger, MD, and Catherine Meyer, MD, Fishbein Fellows.

JAMA. 2003;290(22):2996-2999. doi:10.1001/jama.290.22.2996

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), currently considered part of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), was first described in 1973.1 Although much has been learned in 30 years, substantial challenges remain in diagnosing and preventing this disorder. Our goal is to summarize what has recently been reported with respect to fetal alcohol terminology, identification, effects, prevalence, and prevention of exposure. We will emphasize how fetal alcohol exposure is routinely underidentified and what is known about who is at risk. With this knowledge, physicians should be better able to identify at-risk pregnancies and alcohol-affected individuals and address fetal alcohol exposure in the clinical setting.

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