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Brian Easton
Larry Burd
Anna Sarnocinska-Hart
Jürgen Rehm
Svetlana Popova


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, productivity losses, mortality, demographic approach, Canada



Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) have increased mortality as compared to the general population.


To estimate the productivity losses due to premature mortality of individuals with FASD in Canada in 2011.


A demographic approach with a counterfactual scenario in which nobody in Canada is born with FASD was used. Population estimates were calculated using data on the labour force, unemployment rate, and average weekly wage obtained from Statistics Canada. The number of FASD -related deaths, coded in the International Classification of Diseases, version 10, was estimated based on data from Statistics Canada and pooled prevalence estimates of the major disease conditions associated with FASD were obtained from a meta-analysis. The estimates of FASD -related mortality rates served as a basis for the length of working life span estimation. Once the number of working years lost to premature deaths was derived, productivity losses were computed.


It was estimated that in total 327 individuals with FASD aged 20 to 69 (almost twice as many men as women) died in Canada in 2011. As a result, there were 2,877 years of potential employment lost, which translated to a loss ranging from $88 million to $126 million. This amount represents the increase in national income, had there been no premature mortality from FASD and the workers with FASD had been typical members of the labour force (without compromised productivity due to FASD).


The estimates of productivity losses further reinforce the value of FASD prevention as a primary strategy.

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