Fetal Alcohol Disorders as Prevalent as Autism in the US

Fetal alcohol syndrome occurs in children as a result of alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. It can cause irreversible brain damage, growth problems and behavior issues. No amount of alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy but the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome increases with the amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy.

A New York Times Article discuses a new study that shows more children are being diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome than initially realized, affecting 1.1 to 5 percent of children in the US. This is 5 times higher than previously thought, making it just as common as a diagnosis of autism in children (Currently 1.5 percent of children are diagnosed with autism).

An early diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome may help to reduce potential problems such as learning difficulties and behavioral issues. However, this disorder and the resulting symptoms are completely preventable by abstaining from all alcohol consumption during pregnancy. If you have any questions regarding fetal alcohol syndrome contact your physician.

To learn more about fetal alcohol syndrome, click here.

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