Costs of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Alberta, Canada
Can J Clin Pharmacol Vol 16 (1) Winter 2009:e80-e90; January 16, 2009
Original Research
NX Thanh, E Jonsson

Background
Although many programs targeting fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are implemented, the province of Alberta is still lacking information on costs of FASD.

Objectives
To estimate the costs of FASD in Alberta based on available US and Canadian research on costs of FASD, and Alberta data.

Methods
Two types of costs were estimated. The annual long-term economic cost of FASD, which referred to a projected amount of money incurred by lives of the cohort of children born with FASD each year, was estimated by multiplying the lifetime cost of caring for each child born with FASD with the number of children born with FASD each year. The annual short-term economic cost of FASD, which referred to the amount of money incurred by people who are presently living with FASD, was estimated by using a FASD cost calculator online at http://www.online-clinic.com. Both were societal costs adjusted to 2008 Canadian dollars.

Results
The annual long-term economic cost from the disorders rose from $130 to $400 million each year for the Alberta economy. The annual short-term economic cost for FASD in Alberta was from $48 to $143 million, and the daily cost for FASD in Alberta was from $105 to $316 thousand.

Conclusion
These numbers suggest a need for a provincial FASD prevention strategy. The costs of FASD can be used to evaluate the benefits of prevention programs to society.

Key words: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cost, Alberta, Canada

Download PDF

Back to Volume 16 (1)