Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a pattern of anomalies occurring in children born to alcoholic women. The main features of this pattern are pre and/or postnatal growth retardation, characteristic facial abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunction, including mental retardation. Since its clinical recognition in 1973 it has progressed from an unrecognized condition to a major public health concern with exaggerated and unfounded claims as to causality and impact. This review summarizes some of the basic facts about fetal alcohol syndrome with respect to terminology, prevalence, and mechanisms, in the context of exposure risk.
Keywords: Threshold, Risk Spectrum Terminology, Prevalence, Fetal Mechanisms, Alcohol Diagnosis, Abuse
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