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Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are 100 percent preventable; they are not genetic or hereditary. If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, her child will not develop an associated disorder. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. However, if a woman has a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, her own child cannot have one, unless she drinks alcohol during pregnancy.
 

How Common Are the Disorders?

The reported rates of fetal alcohol syndrome vary widely. These different rates depend on the population studied and the surveillance methods used. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies show fetal alcohol syndrome rates ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 per 1,000 live births in different areas of the United States. Other disorders, such as ARND and ARBD, are believed to occur about three times as often as fetal alcohol syndrome.
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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