Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are caused by the ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy, which exposes the developing fetus to alcohol. Although the true prevalence rate of FAS in the United States is believed to be underestimated, it is reported to occur in .2 to 1.5 per 1000 births. The percentage of births affected by maternal alcohol consumption increases to around 1 in 100 when the larger category of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is included. These prevalence rates vary based on such factors as socioeconomic status and race, with for example, very high prevalence reported for some Native American populations. Although it is fortunate that FAS and related disorders are 100% preventable, the prevalence rates indicate that they continue to represent ...

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