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Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Volume 495: debated on Friday 3 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies have been diagnosed as having foetal alcohol syndrome in each year since 1997. (283427)

Analysis of Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data on the number of babies ‘diagnosed’ with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) at birth shows that there are approximately 20 such babies diagnosed each year. This is not the number of babies actually born with FAS: it is widely recognised that many cases of FAS are only diagnosed later in childhood, and hence will not be identified through the national HES database, or may remain undiagnosed as children with learning or behavioural difficulty of unknown cause.