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Alcohol Alcohol. 2011 Jul-Aug;46(4):490-7. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agr029. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

What do we know about the economic impact of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder? A systematic literature review.

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  • 1Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada.



The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature related to the measurement of the economic impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in different countries and to categorize the available literature.


A systematic literature search of the studies concerning the economic impact of FASD was conducted using multiple electronic bibliographic databases.


The literature on the economic burden of FASD is scarce. There are a limited number of studies found in Canada and the USA, and data from the rest of the world are absent. Existing estimates of the economic impact of FASD demonstrate significant cost implications on the individual, the family and society. However, these estimates vary considerably due to the different methodologies used by different studies.


Limitations and gaps in the existing methodologies of calculating the economic costs of FASD are discussed. It is evident that there is an urgent need to develop a comprehensive and sound methodology for calculating the economic impact of FASD to the society.

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