The influence of socioeconomic factors on the occurrence of fetal alcohol syndrome

Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse. Summer 1987;6(4):105-18. doi: 10.1300/J251v06n04_08.


This study was designed to compare manifestations of FAS in the offspring of lower and upper middle class chronic alcoholic mothers, and to compare these offspring with those of nonalcoholic controls. There was highly significant difference in the incidence of FAS offspring between upper middle and lower class alcoholic mothers, 4.5% versus 70.9% respectively. Mean weight, length, and head circumference at birth in children of upper middle class alcoholic women was -ISD, those of lower class alcoholic women fell into -2SD. All other parameters, congenital malformation rate, failure to thrive, mental retardation were also significantly greater in children of lower class alcoholic women (p less than or equal to .01). Attention deficit disorder was found in 21% of upper middle class offspring of alcoholic women as compared to 71% in the children of the lower socioeconomic group (p less than or equal to .01).

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / etiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Urban Population