FASD & the Justice System

Incidence of FASD in the Indigenous population

Published research on prenatal alcohol consumption in Indigenous communities in Canada is limited. However, a few community studies have indicated that prenatal alcohol use may be problematic among some Inuit populations.

Epidemiological data regarding the  overall incidence of FASD in the Canadian population is lacking. We have not yet established a mechanism for surveillance or national capacity for screening and diagnosis. The incidence in Canada was previously approximated at 1% of the population based on US data of 9.4 per 1000.  New U.S. data from a large population study indicates considerably higher rates. Researchers reported an updated incidence estimate of 3.6%. Using the recent general population statistics leads to an estimate that many thousands of Indigenous people are affected by FASD, but, as will be detailed below, they are not accessing relevant health services.

Projected Rates of FASD

Population

Population

Prevalence Rate

Population  FASD

Canadian

35,540,400

3.6%

1,279,454

Canadian Births

383,822

3.6%

13,818

Indigenous

1,400,685

3.6%

50,424

Indigenous Births

33,616

3.6%

1,210