Fetal alcohol syndrome and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders: A longitudinal cohort study

BACKGROUND: This hypothesis-testing study evaluated the relationship between fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and neurodevelopmental disorder (ND) diagnoses within the Independent Healthcare Research Database (IHRD).

METHODS: De-identified eligibility and claim healthcare records prospectively generated from the 1990-2012 Florida Medicaid system were analyzed using SAS software. There were 89,766 children continuously eligible with >/=10 outpatient office visits during the 120 month period following birth in the cohort examined. A total of 321 children were diagnosed with FAS. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 922), tics (n = 551), attention deficit disorder/attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) (n = 20,260), mental retardation (MR) (n = 915), and specific delays in development (SDD) (n = 24,630) incidence rates were examined using frequency risk ratio (RR) and logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of tics (RR = 5.68), ADD/ADHD (RR = 2.30), MR (RR = 7.83), SDD (RR = 2.88), and ASD (RR = 6.74) were significantly increased among FAS diagnosed children as compared to undiagnosed children. Adjusted (for gender, race, residency, and date of birth) odds ratios (ORs) were significantly increased for tics (OR = 4.87), ADD/ADHD (OR = 3.40), MR (OR = 7.91), SDD (OR = 9.56), and ASD (OR = 6.87) when comparing the FAS diagnosed children to undiagnosed children.

CONCLUSION: Tens of thousands of American children with lifetime costs in the billions of US dollars were estimated to be impacted by FAS-associated NDs. These impacts are particularly tragic because FAS is dependent upon lifestyle.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Geier D. A.; Geier M. R.
  • Issue

    Brain Dev, volume 44
  • Published Date