Interesting article regarding high prevalence of foetal alcohol syndrome globally.


The authors performed a large systematic review and meta-analysis of 328 international studies, the paper can be accessed online here   :

Global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy

Worryingly, Ireland features as one of the five countries with the highest prevalence of FAS.

The five countries with the highest prevalence of foetal  alcohol syndrome were:

  • South Africa
  • Croatia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Belarus

The authors estimate that 1 in every 67 women who consumes alcohol during pregnancy will have a baby with FAS. They point out that FAS is “only the tip of the iceberg” and many many more babies will have Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


The key messages of this paper are unmistakable, every year over 100,000 babies are born with FAS, with associated long-term disability, this is a lifelong disorder .  But FAS is completely preventable.  In Europe up to 25% of women continue to consume alcohol during pregnancy.