Article

Prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Prevention Research Branch, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews (Impact Factor: 2.79). 01/2009; 15(3):193-9. DOI: 10.1002/ddrr.75
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alcohol use among women of childbearing age is a leading, preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States. Although most women reduce their alcohol use upon pregnancy recognition, some women report drinking during pregnancy and others may continue to drink prior to realizing they are pregnant. These findings emphasize the need for effective prevention strategies for both pregnant and nonpregnant women who might be at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP). This report reviews evidence supporting alcohol screening and brief intervention as an effective approach to reducing problem drinking and AEPs that can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In addition, this article highlights a recent report of the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect that describes effective interventions to reduce alcohol use and AEPs, and outlines recommendations on promoting and improving these strategies. Utilizing evidence-based alcohol screening tools and brief counseling for women at risk for an AEP and other effective population-based strategies can help achieve future alcohol-free pregnancies.

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