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Global Health
June 18, 2019

Subpopulations Are Vulnerable to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

JAMA. 2019;321(23):2273. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.7101

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) disproportionately affects certain vulnerable groups worldwide, according to a meta-analysis by an international group of researchers.

Nearly 10% of women around the world consume alcohol during pregnancy. As a result, about 630 000 infants each year are born with FASD, which includes a wide range of lifelong mental and physical disabilities.

The investigators focused on children with FASD who were living in care as adopted or foster children; being held in correctional services; belonging to indigenous populations; receiving special education services; and requiring specialized clinical services, such as psychiatric care. The researchers analyzed data from 69 studies that included 6177 individuals from 17 countries across North America and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.