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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Raising Awareness of the danger of drinking during pregnancy

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Day is observed every year on September the 9th to help raise awareness about the importance of abstaining from alcohol for the nine months of pregnancy.

FASD has lifelong implications for individuals and their families. Considered to be a “hidden disability,” FASD also impacts various sectors of society including health, education, justice, and social services.

Dr. Svetlana (Lana) Popova, Senior Scientist in CAMH’s Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) department, is conducting a research study  to determine the global prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders (with focus on FASD) among children in more than 10 low- and middle-income countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, as well as Canada.

Another study by Lana Popova is now online in the October 2013 Pediatrics journal. The study, “Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Child Care Settings,” shows that children and youth taken into various child care systems, such as ophanages or foster care, in eight countries are at higher risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The authors recommend screening for FASD be implemented in these at-risk groups of children.

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