Prenatal maternal alcohol exposure: diagnosis and prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome

Young Min Hur, Jiwon Choi, Sunwha Park, Sarah Soyeon Oh, Young Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a developmental and congenital disorder characterized by neurocognitive impairment, structural defects, and growth restriction due to prenatal alcohol exposure. The estimated global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy is 9.8%, and the estimated prevalence of FAS in the general population is 14.6 per 10,000 people. In Korea, the estimated prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy is 16%, and the prevalence of FAS is 18-51 per 10,000 women, which is higher than the global prevalence. Women’s alcohol consumption rates have increased, especially in women of childbearing age. This could increase the incidence of FAS, leading to higher medical expenses and burden on society. Alcohol is the single most important teratogen that causes FAS, and there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol and no known safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Thus, physicians should assess women’s drinking patterns in detail and provide education on FAS to women by understanding its pathophysiology. Moreover, the prevention of FAS requires long-term care with a multidisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by funding from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020R1A2C3011850), and BK21 FOUR (Fostering Outstanding Universities for Research) was funded by the Ministry of Education and the NRF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Alcohols
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Pregnancy


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