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Alcohol-Related Birth Defects

Alcohol use during pregnancy is one of the leading preventable causes of birth defects in the United States. Despite the commonly known risk factors, 14% to 22% of women continue to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Various motivations for continued use have been identified, as well as specific demographic factors linked to continued use; these factors include pregnancy at an early age, low socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and genetic predisposition. The unfortunate consequence of continued alcohol use is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), the most frequently occurring alcohol-related birth defect. However, the consequence of maternal drinking is not limited to FAS. Children exposed to alcohol in utero can experience other non-FAS alcohol-related birth defects, such as skeletal and organ abnormalities. These non-FAS abnormalities are often referred to as ...

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