FASD Prevalence among Schoolchildren in Poland

J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2017 Jan;30(1):61-70. doi: 10.1111/jar.12219. Epub 2015 Oct 1.


Background: Prenatal Alcohol Exposure is a major cause of brain damage and developmental delay, known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) but in Poland is rarely diagnosed and the scale of problem is not known.

Methods: An active case ascertainment approach was applied to estimate the prevalence of FASD among 7-9 years olds. Pre-screening was conducted in 113 randomly selected regular and special schools. In the screening phase participated 280 children (54% from the risk group, 60% boys). The entire number of eligible students (N = 2500) was taken as a denominator.

Results: The prevalence of FASD is not lower than 2%, including 0.4% of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Conclusions: Neurodevelopmental disorders associated with PAE are a serious challenge for the public health system. Development of procedures and services to diagnose and to support individuals affected by PAE and their families is an urgent need in Poland.

Keywords: Poland; children; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; fetal alcohol syndrome; prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*