Tags: children | fetal | alcohol | disorders

Children's Fetal Alcohol Disorders 5 Times More Common Than Thought

Image: Children's Fetal Alcohol Disorders 5 Times More Common Than Thought
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By    |   Wednesday, 07 February 2018 12:56 PM

More children suffer from fetal alcohol disorders in the U.S. than previously thought, according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The lifelong condition is related to permanent brain damage and is caused by mothers consuming alcohol while pregnant, which can lead to significant cognitive, behavioral, health and learning difficulties, The National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum noted.

Based on the evaluation of about 3,000 children and their mothers, researchers determined that between 1.1 to 5 percent of children in the country suffered fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

This number, The New York Times noted, is five times higher than previously estimated and shades the 1.5 percent of children currently diagnosed with autism.

Further driving the issue is underdiagnoses, with ABC News reporting that 80 percent of cases are missed while a further 7 percent are misdiagnosed.

Christina Chambers, one of the study authors and a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, pointed out that it was a condition with subtle physical symptoms.

"It's not something that if you were walking through a grocery store, you'd say, 'Oh, this child has fetal alcohol syndrome,'" she noted, adding that there was also a reluctance on the mother's side to admit to drinking alcohol while pregnant.

Early intervention is crucial but with a condition not easily detected, this could be a problem.

"There is no cure for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but there are definitely intervention strategies that have been demonstrated to help," Chambers said per the Business Insider. "The earlier that interventions are initiated, the more effective they are likely to be, especially during the early years when there is still relative plasticity of the brain."

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Fetal alcohol disorders affect up to five times more children than previously thought, according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
children, fetal, alcohol, disorders
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2018-56-07
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 12:56 PM
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