The prevalence of FAS ranges widely from community to community and is determined by the number of women consuming alcohol in any particular community. It is estimated that FAS is now the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States, surpassing Down's syndrome and spina bifida. The prevalence estimates for FAS range from 1 in 600 to 1 in 750 births. However, few prevalence studies have been conducted and many experts have differing views as to the accuracy of the prevalence figures available. New Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies suggest that drinking during pregnancy is actually on the increase, despite public-health information designed to prevent FAS. This trend may lead to a higher number of babies born with FAS/FARC.

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