More Women Than We Thought Have Babies With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: You might want to rethink that drink

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

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Drinking while pregnant could be doing more harm than anyone has previously believed. According to Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one in every 13 women who consumes alcohol while expecting will have a baby born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

CAMH’s findings, which were published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, analyzed 24 existing studies of more than 1,400 children to determine how prevalent FASD is in kids aged 0 to 16 around the world. Globally, they found that nearly eight in 1,000 babies are born with the disorder.

“FASD prevalence estimates are essential to effectively prioritize and plan health care for children with FASD, who are often misdiagnosed,” said Dr. Svetlana Popova, Senior Scientist at CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research. “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…

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