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Faculty Member

Svetlana (Lana) Popova MPH, MD, PhDs

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
416 535-8501 ext 4558
Office Address
Social and Epidemiological Research, CAMH 33 Russell Street, Room # T507 Toronto, ON M5S 2S1
Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, announced on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Public Health Agency of Canada: Government of Canada invests to promote health, well-being and safety of Canadians. FASD, Canada FASD Research Network: Harper Government invests in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder projects, The Vancouver Sun: Worldwide cost of drinking alcohol during pregnancy could be far higher than expected, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: How widespread are they in Canada?, Scientists at Work: CAMH-WHO study takes on the world , The Lancet: Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME): Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010), Health Data Innovation: Launch of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 results, The Guardian: Global Burden of Disease: the key data, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC): The Lancet publishes Global Burden of Disease 2010 study, Science Watch: The Lancet - the most-cited paper; the top 1% of authors in terms of total citations over 10 years
Epidemiology Division
Centre for Global Health
Associate Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

Dr. Popova has a particular interest in the epidemiology, economic cost, prevention and intervention strategies related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Dr. Popova currently leading two of the largest FASD studies in Canada: 1) the estimation of burden and economic costs associated with FASD, and 2) the estimation of the prevalence of FASD among 8,000 elementary school children in Ontario, which is a part of the FASD National Strategic Projects Fund. These projects received attention from both the media and from the Canadian federal Ministry of Health. Both of these studies will serve as models for use in other countries. Dr. Popova is also a co-principal investigator of a twelve-country international study on estimating prevalence and incidence of FASD supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Dr. Popova has been published in high-impact journals such as the Lancet, International Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, International Journal of Cancer, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Addiction. Her research is widely read and cited, and her publications have received over 350 citations per year over the last five years.

Dr. Popova is an associated editor of several peer-reviewed journals including BioMed Central Public Health, The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, and Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy.

Dr. Popova collaborated on the WHO Global Burden of Disease studies on alcohol consumption as a risk factor for burden of disease. She was also one of the conductors of the second Canadian Cost Study on Substance Abuse and Avoidable Cost of Alcohol Abuse in Canada.

Other Affiliations

Senior Scientist, Social and Epidemiological Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Assistant Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Graduate Faculty Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Seminar leader CHL5203: Public Health Research Methods
  • Lecturer PAS3700: Multidisciplinary Aspects of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Psychoactive Substances
  • Lecturer CHL5423H: Doctoral Seminar Series in Epidemiology
  • Practicum supervisor
  • Member of the Admissions Committee

Professional Summary & Appointments


  • 2012-present Member of the WHO Advisory Committee on FASD
  • 2012-present Member of the WHO Guidelines Development Group for Identification and Management of Alcohol and other Substance Use in Pregnancy
  • 2012-2013 International Expert Committee for the 3rd International SAF FRANCE Colloquium, May 30-31, 2013, Paris, France
  • 2012-present Member of International Organizing Committee for the First International Conference on Prevention of FASD, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Sept. 23-25, 2013
  • 2012-present Alcohol Policy and Research Group, CAMH, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012-present Member of Planning Committee for the National FASD Prevalence Plan, Canada
  • 2011-present Member of Committee of the International Group for the Study of Alcohol’s Harm to Others (IGSAHO)
  • 2011-present International Coordination Council for Alcohol Damage on Health and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The National Research Institute of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation

Editorial Board Member

  • Editor of the first special issue (2012-2013) on FASD in the International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research
  • Associate Editor (2009-present) of BMC Public Health (BioMed Central), International Scholarly Research Network Epidemiology, and Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Other Professional Accomplishments

  • 2011-present Expert in addiction filed (social burden and economic cost) for Supreme Court of Canada

Honours & Awards

  • Top Cited Award for 2009 for the study “Global Burden of Disease and Injury and Economic Cost Attributable to Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Use Disorders” published in The Lancet. The above study was the most-cited paper in its area, according to the Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators (December 2011). This ranking represents the top 1% of authors in terms of total citations in each discipline over a 10-year period.
  • Top Cited Award for 2006-2008 for the study “An overview of illegal opioid use and health services utilization in Canada” published in Public Health. This article was one of the Top 10 cited papers (2006-2008)
  • One of the International Journal of Epidemiology most highly cited authors (2008-2009).
  • Ole-Jorgen Skog Award at the Kettil Bruun Society, Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol, 2008 Symposium.
  • Outstanding Research Employee Award for Excellence in Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada (2007).

Current Research Projects

Sept 2012 – March 2015

Principal Investigator

Public Health Agency of Canada

World Health Organization International Study of the Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Canadian Component. “National Strategic Projects Fund”

Estimating the prevalence of FASD among 8,000 elementary school children in Ontario

Jan. 2012- March 2014

Principal Investigator

Public Health Agency of Canada

Cost Study on the Economic Impact of FASD in Canada

Estimating mortality, morbidity, law enforcement problems, and productivity losses due to premature mortality and disability of individuals with FASD, and the associated economic cost in Canada


Co-Principal Investigator (Core Team)

World Health Organization (WHO) The International Collaborative Research Project on Alcohol, Health and Development: Determining the Prevalence and Incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Selected Countries

Serving as the data centre and providing methodology and technical support for a large-scale WHO-NIAAA study on estimation of prevalence of FASD among children in low- and middle-income countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Other Current Projects

•Conducting several systematic literature reviews on co-morbidity of FASD; prevalence of drinking during pregnancy and FASD in different populations and countries; estimating global prevalence of FASD

Representative Publications

Articles in Scholarly Refereed Journals

  1. Popova, S., Lange, S., Burd, L., Chudley, A., Clarren, S., & Rehm, J. (2013). Cost of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosis in Canada. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60434. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060434.
  2. Popova, S., Lange, S., Burd, L., & Rehm, J. (2013). Canadian children and youth in care: The cost of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Child and Youth Care Forum. DOI 10.1007/s10566-013-9226-x. Available from
  3. Lange, S., Shield, K., Rehm, J., & Popova, S. (2013). Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in child care settings: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 132(3). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013
  4. Murray, C.J.L., Aboyans, V., Abraham, J.P., Ackerman, I., Ahn, S.Y. et al. (Popova, S. among et al.). (2013). GBD 2010 country results: a global public good. The Lancet, 381(9871), 965-970.
  5. Popova, S., Lange, S., Burd, L., Urbanoski, K., & Rehm, J. (2013). Cost of specialized addiction treatment of clients with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada. BioMed Central Public Health, 13, 570.
  6. Popova, S., Stade, B., Lange, S., & Rehm, J. (2012). A model for estimating the economic impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology, Incorporating Fetal Alcohol Research, 19(1), e51-e65. Available from
  7. Popova, S., Lange, S., Burd, L., & Rehm, J. (2012). Health care burden and cost associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Canada: Based on official Canadian data. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e43024. Available from
  8. Popova, S., Patra, J., Sarnocinska-Hart, A., Gnam, W., Giesbrecht, N. & Rehm, J. (2012). Cost of privatization versus alcohol retail monopoly. Canadian example. Drug and Alcohol Review, 31, 4-12. DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00276.x
  9. Vos, T., Flaxman, A.D., Naghavi, M., Lozano, R., Michaud, C., et al. (Popova, S. among et al.). (2012). Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990—2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 380(9859), 2163 – 2196. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61729-2.
  10. Murray, C., Vos, T., Lozano, R., Naghavi, M., Flaxman, A.D., et al. (Popova, S. among et al.) (2012). Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990—2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 380(9859), 2197 – 2223. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61689-4.
  11. Popova, S., Lange, S., Bekmuradov, D., Mihic, A., & Rehm J. (2011). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevalence estimates in correctional systems: A systematic literature review. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 102(5), 336-340.
  12. Popova, S., Stade, B., Bekmuradov, D., Lange, S., & Rehm, J. (2011). What do we know about the economic impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? A systematic literature review. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 46(4), 490-497. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agr029

Book Chapters

  1. Popova, S. & Rehm, J. (in press). Substance involvement and physical health: Unintentional injury, organ-specific diseases, HIV, and cancer, chapter 10. In K. J. Sher (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Substance Use Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. Popova, S. & Rehm J. (2009). Cancer, drugs, and alcohol. In P. Korsmeyer and H.R. Kranzler, (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behavior, 3rd ed, vol.1, pp. 269-274. New York: Macmillan Reference USA.
  3. Rehm, J., Popova S., & Patra, J. (2009). Alcohol-attributable injury in a global perspective. In Cherpitel, C.J., Borges, G., Giesbrecht, N., Hungerford, D., Peden, M., Poznyak, V., Room, R., Stockwell, T. (Eds.). Alcohol and Injuries: Emergency Department Studies in an International Perspective, Ch. 4, p. 41-51. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. Available from
  4. Rehm, J., Patra, J., Baliunas, D., Popova, S., Roerecke, M. & Taylor, B. (2008). Alcohol, the burden of disease of. In: Kris Heggenhougen and Stella Quah, (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Public Health, vol 1. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 135-151.

More publications are available at PubMed