Day 3 of 99 Days to FASDay: FASD Knows No Bounds


In 2017 a European study of women, alcohol and pregnancy revealed:

“One in six women reported use of alcohol after the pregnancy was recognized,” Angela Lupattelli, a scientist at the University of Oslo who took part in the study, told AFP.

Surprisingly, women who confirmed alcohol use while pregnant were more likely to be older, more highly educated, and employed. The researchers speculated that these women might be more critical towards guidelines recommending total abstinence, or less exposed to campaigns than younger women.

Check out this Huffington Post article for more information on the study.

And while the following was not about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, in 2018 it was reported more Canadian women are drinking to the point where they end up in hospital, or even die from it, according to new statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

With an increase in this drinking, is there a corresponding increase in FASD?

In another study, Dr Margaret Clarke, an eminent Canadian FASD researcher, found that in Canada 96% of mothers with “alcohol-affected” children are social drinkers, and only 4% are alcohol dependent.

In 2018 Canada’s chief public health officer said she is worried about the rise in heavy drinking among Canadian women. Dr. Theresa Tam has tried to sound the alarm on Canadians’ problems with substance abuse, making it the focus of her 2018 report on the state of public health in Canada. Her report indicated girls aged 10 to 19 have higher hospitalization rates for alcohol abuse than boys the same age.

In an article published in April 2019 by WebMD:

New research showed one in nine pregnant women in the United States drinks alcohol. In one-third of those cases, frequent binge drinking is also often involved. What’s more, the rate of drinking during pregnancy is actually on the rise, with a slight uptick in the rate over the past decade, according to investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new report was based on 2015-2017 data for more than 6,800 U.S. women aged 18 to 44. “Current drinking and binge drinking in the past 30 days were reported by 11.5% and 3.9% of pregnant women, respectively,” reported a team led by Clark Denny, of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

2020 Update:

A Study released on June 4, 2020 in Briton revealed over a quarter of 18 to 25-year-olds are unaware that women should avoid alcohol in pregnancy.

  • A staggering 26 per cent admitted they did not know that official guidance states that a woman, if pregnant, should avoid alcohol entirely.   
  • Just 17 per cent of the young adults correctly identified alcohol exposure in utero as causing more long-term harm to a baby than other substances such as heroin.  
  • Almost half (49 per cent) of 18-25 year-olds polled said they get information on alcohol in pregnancy from social media while four in ten discussed it with a teacher.  

The research was carried out by the National Organisation for FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders). 

Sandra Butcher, chief executive of the British arm of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS-UK), said: “Information is power. It is deeply concerning that so few young people are aware of the dangers.”

So as some of these reports from around the world show, women from all ages and backgrounds are drinking alcohol in greater numbers, and while pregnant.

Check back tomorrow for another FASD fact!

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