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(45.) In New York State the estimated cost of caring for infants born with alcohol-related birth defects in 1978 amounted to $155 million in lifetime care.
From a scientific perspective, the link between moderated drinking and alcohol-related birth defects has not been clearly established.
ADH1B*3 and Vulnerability to Alcohol-Related Birth Defects
The study found that African-American women with the ADH1B*3 allele were less likely to bear children with alcohol-related birth defects than women without the allele.
The toxic effects of in utero alcohol exposure are manifested by a constellation of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities commonly referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) or alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
* Alcohol-related birth defects are completely preventable.
In 1994 Alcohol Health & Research World (now titled Alcohol Research & Health) last devoted a full issue to the topic of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
Since the late 1970s, many studies have reported on the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD), and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders (ARND).
Detecting alcohol use among pregnant women is an important step toward preventing alcohol-related birth defects. A biomarker that could detect alcohol use during pregnancy would aid in earlier identification and intervention for affected infants.
Nonetheless, these often undiagnosed children may still experience serious fetal alcohol effects (FAE), including alcohol-induced mental impairments (i.e., alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder) or alcohol-related abnormalities of the skeleton and certain organ systems (i.e., alcohol-related birth defects).

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