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Counting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Australia: The evidence and the challenges

Burns, L., Breen, C., Bower, C., O'Leary, C., Elliott, E. J.,

Academic Literature


This review collates information on the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Australia.

Birth prevalence of FASD is most commonly measured through clinic-based studies, passive surveillance systems and active case ascertainment. Alcohol use in pregnancy and FAS in Australia is predominantly monitored through passive surveillance systems and under-ascertainment of cases is likely. State- and territory-based studies have reported birth prevalence rates of FAS of between 0.01 and 0.68 per 1000 live births. Prevalence rates of FASD have not been estimated in Australia. As reflected in the international data, Australian studies have found higher rates of FAS among some Indigenous communities. This likely reflects patterns of alcohol use and other socioeconomic risk factors.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Drug and Alcohol Review

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Health and wellbeing

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