About this item:

13 Views | 8 Downloads

Author Notes:

Christina D. Chambers, Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0828, La Jolla, CA 92093, chchambers@ucsd.edu, T: 858-0246-1704, F: 858-246-1710

Dr. Chambers was the Principal Investigator who designed and directed the overall study and led the writing of the manuscript. Drs. Coles, Kable and Akshoomoff designed and supervised the administration of the neurobehavioral testing battery and interpretation of results. Dr. Zellner led the day to day operations for the study. Dr. Xu led the data management team and statistical analysis for the overall study. Mr. Honerkamp-Smith conducted the statistical analysis for this manuscript. Drs. Jones, Manning and Adam designed and carried out the physical examinations of children in the study. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and provided final approval.

We extend our thanks to the children, mothers and families who participated; and to the school districts, teachers and principals who made this study possible. We also thank the members of the NIAAA staff and the Steering Committee for their advice and contributions to the study, including Marcia Scott, Ph.D., Kenneth Warren, Ph.D., Judith Arroyo, Ph.D., Michael Charness, M.D., William Dunty, Ph.D., Daniel Falk, Ph.D., Dale Herald, M.D., Ph.D., and Edward Riley, Ph.D.

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


Research Funding:

This project was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Grant UO1AA019879 as part of the Collaboration on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevalence (CoFASP) consortium.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Substance Abuse
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Prevalence
  • Pregnant Women
  • Prenatal Alcohol Use

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in a Pacific Southwest City: Maternal and Child Characteristics


Journal Title:



Volume 43, Number 12


, Pages 2578-2590

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background: There are limited data on the characteristics of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and their mothers from the general population in the United States. Methods: During the 2012 and 2013 academic years, first-grade children in a large urban Pacific Southwest city were invited to participate in a study to estimate the prevalence of FASD. Children who screened positive on weight, height, or head circumference ≤25th centile or on parental report of developmental concerns were selected for evaluation, along with a random sample of those who screened negative. These children were examined for dysmorphology and neurobehavior and their mothers or collateral sources were interviewed. Children were classified as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), or No FASD. Results: A total of 854 children were evaluated; 5 FAS, 44 pFAS, 44 ARND, and 761 No FASD. Children with FAS or pFAS were more likely to have dysmorphic features, and 32/49 (65.3%) of those met criteria for neurobehavioral impairment on cognitive measures with or without behavioral deficits. In contrast, 28/44 (63.6%) of children with ARND met criteria on behavioral measures alone. Mothers of FASD children were more likely to recognize pregnancy later, be unmarried, and report other substance use or psychiatric disorders, but did not differ on age, socioeconomic status, education, or parity. Mothers of FASD children reported more drinks/drinking day each trimester. The risk of FASD was elevated with increasing number of drinks/drinking day prior to pregnancy recognition, even at the level of 1 drink per day (adjusted odds ratio 3.802, 95% confidence interval 1.634, 8.374). Conclusions: Data from this general population sample in a large urban region in the United States demonstrate the variability of expression of FASD and point to risk and protective factors for mothers in this setting.
Export to EndNote