The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid-pregnancy on child’s intelligence, attention and executive function
Published Date:Jun 20 2012
Corporate Authors:Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group
Low-moderate Alcohol Consumption
Multiple Outcome Analyses
Pregnancy Trimester, First
Pregnancy Trimester, Second
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4435537
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
To conduct a combined analysis of the estimated effects of maternal average weekly alcohol consumption and any binge drinking in early to mid-pregnancy on general intelligence, attention, and executive functions in five-year old children.
Setting and population
1,628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort.
Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol consumption during early pregnancy. At age five, the children were tested for general intelligence, attention and executive function. The three outcomes were analyzed together in a multivariate model to obtain joint estimates and p-values for the association of alcohol across outcomes. The effects of low-moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy were adjusted for a wide range of potential confounders.
Main outcome measures
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R), the Test of Everyday Attention for Children at Five (TEACh-5), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF).
Multivariate analyses showed no statistically significant effects of average weekly alcohol consumption or any binge drinking, individually or in combination. These results replicate findings from separate analyses of each outcome variable.
The present study contributes comprehensive methodological and statistical approaches that should be incorporated in future studies of low-moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking during pregnancy. Further, since no safe level of drinking during pregnancy has been established, the most conservative advice for women is not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. However, the present study suggests that small amounts consumed occasionally may not present serious concern.
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