Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The 'American Paradox'

Alcohol Alcohol. May-Jun 1998;33(3):195-201. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.alcalc.a008382.


Nearly all cases of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) identified in prospective epidemiological studies have been conducted in the United States of America. The very high incidence rate for FAS in the USA and the relatively low rate in other countries does not correspond to measures of alcohol consumption. By analogy with the 'French paradox', we have termed the high rate of FAS in the USA coupled with its relatively low level of alcohol consumption, the 'American paradox'.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / epidemiology*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • United States / epidemiology