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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2006;42(1):4-7.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The International Consortium.

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  • 1National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a large and rapidly increasing public health problem worldwide. Aside the full-blown FAS, multiple terms are used to describe the continuum of effects that result from prenatal exposure to alcohol, including the whole fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The revised Institute of Medicine (IOM) Diagnostic Classification System and the diagnostic criteria for FAS and FASD are reported, as well as the formation of the four-state FAS International Consortium and its aims, as the development of an information base that systematizes data collection that helps to determine at-high-risk populations, and to implement and test a scientific-based prevention/intervention model for at risk women. The Consortium was further enlarged, with the inclusion of some more states (including Italy), leading to the formation of the International Consortium for the Investigation of FASD. The objectives of the Consortium are reported, as well as its previous activities, the South Africa and Italy Projects (active case ascertainment initiatives), and its future activities.

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