Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fetal Alcohol syndrome

Worldwide, an estimated 119,000 children are born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) each year, a new study shows. The study provides the first-ever estimates of the proportion of women who drink during pregnancy, as well as estimates of FAS by country, World Health Organization region and worldwide.

I suspect this might be an estimate of the severe full syndrome, but like a lot of things, it is a continuum, and if you include all babies with some damage it is probably ten times that much.

You can see the problem in this description:

Globally, nearly 10 per cent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy, with wide variations by country and WHO region. In some countries, more than 45 per cent of women consume alcohol during pregnancy. In Canada, which has clinical guidelines advising abstinence during pregnancy, an estimated 10 per cent of pregnant women still drink, which is close to the estimated world average.
wait a second: If you include countries who routinely drink wine (or beer) with their meals, you get a huge number of drinkers, but not a lot of FAS. Whereas in Canada, I suspect their "First Nation" doctors see a lot of it, because drinking there is hard drunkeness although not necessrily daily alcohol.

Both exaggerated (no, one drink won't affect your kid) and much.

more from the article:

Nearly 15 per 10,000 people around the world are estimated to have FAS, the most severe form of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FAS is characterized by mental, behavioural and learning problems, as well as physical disabilities. 

In Canada, the estimate is 10.5 cases of FAS per 10,000 people.
 Not every woman who drinks while pregnant will have a child with FAS. "We estimated that one in 67 mothers who drink during pregnancy will deliver a child with FAS," says lead author Dr. Svetlana Popova, Senior Scientist in CAMH's Institute for Mental Health Policy Research. 

 She notes that this figure is very conservative and does not include other types of FASD that may occur from alcohol consumption during pregnancy, including partial FAS (pFAS) and Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND). Although it's well established that alcohol can damage any organ or system in the developing fetus, particularly the brain, it's still not known exactly what makes a fetus most susceptible, in terms of the amount or frequency of alcohol use, or timing of drinking during pregnancy. Other factors, such as the genetics, stress, smoking and nutrition also contribute to the risk of developing FASD.

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