Eight in 1,000 kids are born with foetal alcohol syndrome globally

FASD increases the risk of developing physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities.

Eight in 1,000 kids are born with foetal alcohol syndrome globally

New Delhi: According to researchers, nearly eight out of every 1,000 children around the globe are born Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

FASD increases the risk of developing physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities.

The study estimated that one out of 13 women, who consumed alcohol at any point or frequently during pregnancy, gave birth to a child with FASD.

“FASD prevalence estimates are essential to effectively prioritise and plan health care for children with FASD who are often misdiagnosed,” said Svetlana Popova, Senior Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Ontario.

“Most of these children will require lifelong care, so the earlier they have access to appropriate therapy and supports, the better their long-term health and social outcomes will be,” Popova added. For the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the team looked at the prevalence — or the frequency that FASD—occurs for children from birth to age 16 in 187 countries.

While the European region reported the highest levels worldwide at nearly 20 cases of FASD per 1,000 children, the Eastern Mediterranean Region has showed the lowest FASD prevalence.

The US showed 15 cases of FASD per 1,000 children, while Canada reported eight cases per 1,000 children. In 76 countries, more than one out of 100 young people reported FASD.

The researchers also found that FASD occurred more frequently among children in care (such as foster care or orphanages), in the criminal justice system, in psychiatric care and aboriginal young people compared to the general population.

(With Agency inputs)

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