Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Primary Prevention through FASD Diagnosis: Identification of High-Risk Birth Mothers through the Diagnosis of their Children. Follow-up Study
Snelson, Corey Deanne
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Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of preventable lifelong cognitive or behavioral disability. The spectrum of adverse outcomes observed among individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure is termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) and can range from very mild to the most severe form, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). From 1993 to 1998 the FASD Diagnostic and Prevention Network (FAS DPN) conducted a study to assess the feasibility of using the University of Washington interdisciplinary FAS DPN clinic as a center for identifying and targeting primary prevention intervention to high-risk women (women who had given birth to a child with FAS, were still fertile, and still drinking regularly). The pilot project demonstrated that 46% of the patient’s birth mothers were still fertile and 49% were still drinking at the time of the patient’s FASD diagnosis. Of those birth mothers who were still fertile, 21% reported that they were still drinking, although all fertile birth mothers (46%) are at risk of having a child with prenatal alcohol exposure. The primary aim of this study was to assess the risk status of all birth mothers whose children received an FASD diagnosis between 1993-2012 to identify changes in annual trends among birth mothers whose children are evaluated at the FAS DPN with the goal of learning how best to target prevention measures to these high-risk women.