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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are associated with an increase in risk for mortality for people with an FASD and their siblings. In this study we examine mortality rates of birth mothers of children with FASD, using a retrospective case control methodology. We utilized the North Dakota FASD Registry to locate birth certificates for children with FASD which we used to identify birth mothers. We then searched for mothers' death certificates. We then compared the mortality rates of the birth mothers with an age matched control group comprised of all North Dakota women who were born and died in the same year as the birth mother. The birth mothers of children with FASD had a mortality rate of 15/304 = 4.93%; (95% CI 2.44-7.43%). The mortality rate for control mothers born in same years as the FASD mothers was 126/114,714 = 0.11% (95% CI 0.09-0.13%). Mothers of children with an FASD had a 44.82 fold increase in mortality risk and 87% of the deaths occurred in women under the age of 50. Three causes of death (cancer, injuries, and alcohol related disease) accounted for 67% of the deaths in the mothers of children with FASD. A diagnosis of FASD is an important risk marker for premature death in the mothers of children diagnosed with an FASD. These women should be encouraged to enter substance abuse treatment.
North Dakota Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 501 N Columbia Road Stop 9037, Grand Forks, ND, 58202-9037, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Maternal and child health journal
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An umbrella term used to describe a pattern of disabilities and abnormalities that result from fetal exposure to ETHANOL during pregnancy. It encompasses a phenotypic range that can vary greatly between individuals, but reliably includes one or more of the following: characteristic facial dysmorphism, FETAL GROWTH RETARDATION, central nervous system abnormalities, cognitive and/or behavioral dysfunction, BIRTH DEFECTS. The level of maternal alcohol consumption does not necessarily correlate directly with disease severity.
A condition occurring in FETUS or NEWBORN due to in utero ETHANOL exposure when mother consumed alcohol during PREGNANCY. It is characterized by a cluster of irreversible BIRTH DEFECTS including abnormalities in physical, mental, and behavior development (such as FETAL GROWTH RETARDATION; MENTAL RETARDATION; ATTENTION DEFICIT AND DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR DISORDERS) with varied degree of severity in an individual.
Ongoing scrutiny of a population (general population, study population, target population, etc.), generally using methods distinguished by their practicability, uniformity, and frequently their rapidity, rather than by complete accuracy.
Number of fetal deaths with stated or presumed gestation of 20 weeks or more in a given population. Late fetal mortality is death after of 28 weeks or more.
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