FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society
International Alcohol Rates Among Women

International Alcohol Rates Among Women

by Peggy Seo Oba

According to Dr. Streissguth (FAS: A Guide for Families and Communities, 1997)..the following countries have reported FAS cases....by the way, France was the FIRST in 1968..by a Dr. Paul Lemoine, the US in 1973....Iceland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Germany, Finland.

Drs. Spohr and Steinhausen (Alcohol, Preganancy and the Developing Child, 1997) reported Sweden and Japan.

Dr. Ernest Abel (FAS/E, 1984) reports cases from other countries that include Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Ireland (personal friend in Oireland says it is SO prevalent), Italy, Spain, Switzerland as well as the ones listed previously.

I believe that there are not more reports of it because the doctors cannot/will not diagnose it. This is the problem in Japan where there are only 56 children with FAS (that does not include my two nieces a a nephew).......however, by their own reports drinking has gone up 400% since the end of World War II and 61% of all women drink.....they also have 4.3 female deaths per 100,000 due to alcohol related illnesses. It simply is not accurate to say there are only 56 cases of FAS in Japan. It is statistically impossible...(if anyone wants a long convoluted explanation of trend analysis, please write me privately as I think it much too dry for the list to read..)

(Comparatively, 66% of all women in the US drink.....we have 5.0 female deaths per 100,000 due to alcohol related illnesses and 9.7 full FAS births per 10,000...which is probably on the low side).....this is like saying that in all the US, just the people on this link have all the children with FAS in the country....which is ridiculous.

I would like to add that the medical definition of alcoholism is when you land in the hospital with liver, kidney, heart and/or brain damage.....that in no way accounts for the huge numbers of functional alcoholics or abusers who are out there and not getting treament for their addiction....

Although it is difficult to say how many children in Europe have FAS or even FAE...one of the ways you can determine the prevalence of alcohol consumption among women and the seriousness of it is to look at the deaths due to alcohol related illnesses...

Death rates of women from alcohol related illness:

Albania has 3.6
Austria has 9.8
Bulgaria has 4.5
France has 6.6
Germany has 9.5
Hungary has 31.4
Ireland has 1.4 (does not include Northern Ireland)
Italy has 9.3
Lithuania has 4.5
Netherlands has 2.6
Norway has 2.2
Poland has 5.0
Portugal has 9.9
Slovemnia has 17.2
Switzerland has 3.7
England, 5,5
Northern Ireland, 3.9
Scotland, 9.4. (From Moire Plant's "Women and Alcohol")

The Europeans do consume differently from the Americas....the cocktail party is practically unknown..and they do eat with meals (protein and carbohydrates keep the alcohol from racing through the system so fast...)....but there are a lot of serious female drinkers in Europe and one cannot help but think of the children they have had...... All the books I cited can be obtained from www.amazon.com...just type in the author's name and it will take you there...

Peggy FAS in Japan