Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Update: Number Of Children Born With FAS Rising Worldwide
Many studies have already proven that drinking alcohol during pregnancy risks the development of the embryo and fetus. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome(FAS) is the condition that results from alcohol drinking during pregnancy.
A recent study systematically analyzed data about alcohol consumption during pregnancy to show the prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome globally, by region, and by country. One of the findings of the study is that the number of children born with FAS is rising worldwide.
The study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that around 9.8 percent of women drink alcohol during their pregnancy worldwide. Globally, 14.6 per 10,000 people in the general population is estimated to have fetal alcohol syndrome.
Another alarming statistic is that one in every 67 women who drink alcohol during their pregnancy would deliver a child with FAS. That means 119,000 children are born with fetal alcohol syndrome every year worldwide.
According to the study, some countries are reported to have more than 45 percent of women drinking alcohol during their pregnancy. The five countries with the highest number of women consuming alcohol during their pregnancy are mostly in Europe. The European countries are Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Regionally, Europe has a prevalence of FAS 2.6 higher than the global average.
The countries with the lowest number of women consuming alcohol during their pregnancy are from the Eastern Mediterranean and South-East Asia regions. These could be due to cultural factors where most women are abstained from drinking alcohol.
The study published in The Lancet Global Health is urgently needed and timely as there are still women who drink alcohol during their pregnancies. In addition, the researchers are urging pregnant women, medical and health practitioners, and the government for proper information dissemination regarding the risk of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
This is badly needed as the study estimates that the number of children born with FAS is rising globally as more young women are prone to drinking alcohol heavily during their pregnancies.