18 August 2023 In Pregnant Women

INTRODUCTION: According to a precautionary principle, it is recommended that pregnant women and women trying to conceive abstain from alcohol consumption. In this dose-response meta-analysis, we aimed to examine the association between alcohol consumption and binge drinking and the risk of miscarriage in the first and second trimesters.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Library in May 2022, without any language, geographic or time limitations. Cohort or case-control studies reporting dose-specific effects adjusting for maternal age and using separate risk assessments for first- and second-trimester miscarriages were included. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. This study is registered with PROSPERO, registration number CRD42020221070.

RESULTS: A total of 2124 articles were identified. Five articles met the inclusion criteria. Adjusted data from 153 619 women were included in the first-trimester analysis and data from 458 154 women in the second-trimester analysis. In the first and second trimesters, the risk of miscarriage increased by 7% (odds ratio [OR] 1.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.96-1.20) and 3% (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.99-1.08) for each additional drink per week, respectively, but not to a statistically significant degree. One article regarding binge drinking and the risk of miscarriage was found, which revealed no association between the variables in either the first or second trimester (OR 0.84 [95% CI 0.62-1.14] and OR 1.04 [95% CI 0.78-1.38]).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis revealed no dose-dependent association between miscarriage risk and alcohol consumption, but further focused research is recommended. The research gap regarding miscarriage and binge drinking needs further investigation.

06 May 2014 In Pregnant Women

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of low to moderate maternal alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on behaviour in children at the age of 5 years.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Neuropsychological testing in four Danish cities, 2003-2008.

POPULATION: A total of 1628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort.

METHODS: Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol drinking patterns during early pregnancy. When the children were 5 years of age the parent and teacher versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were completed by the mothers and a preschool teacher, respectively. The full statistical model included the following potential confounding factors: maternal binge drinking or low to moderate alcohol consumption, respectively; parental education; maternal IQ; prenatal maternal smoking; the child's age at testing; the child's gender; maternal age; parity; maternal marital status; family home environment; postnatal parental smoking; prepregnancy maternal body mass index (BMI); and the child's health status.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Behaviour among children assessed by the SDQ parent and teacher forms.

RESULTS: Adjusted for all potential confounding factors, no statistically significant associations were observed between maternal low to moderate average weekly alcohol consumption and SDQ behavioural scores (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.5-2.3; OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.6-2.1 for the total difficulties scores) or between binge drinking and SDQ behavioural scores (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.8-1.7; OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.2).

CONCLUSION: This study observed no consistent effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption or binge drinking in early pregnancy on offspring behaviour at the age of 5 years.

06 May 2014 In Pregnant Women

OBJECTIVE: This study examines the relationships between the dose, pattern, and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure and achievement in reading, writing, spelling, and numeracy in children aged 8 to 9 years.

METHODS: Data from a randomly selected, population-based birth cohort of infants born to non-Indigenous women in Western Australia between 1995 and 1997 (n = 4714) (Randomly Ascertained Sample of Children born in Australia's Largest State Study cohort) were linked to the Western Australian Midwives' Notification System and the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment statewide education testing program. The records for 86% (n = 4056) of the cohort were successfully linked with education records when the children were aged 8 to 9 years. The associations between prenatal alcohol exposure and achievement of national benchmarks in school numeracy, reading, spelling, and writing tests and nonattendance for the tests was examined. Logistic regression was used to generate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for potential confounding factors. The referent group included children of mothers who previously drank alcohol but who abstained during pregnancy.

RESULTS: Children were twice as likely not to achieve the benchmark for reading after heavy prenatal alcohol exposure during the first trimester (aOR 2.26; 95% CI 1.10-4.65) and for writing when exposed to occasional binge drinking in late pregnancy (aOR 2.35; 95% CI 1.04-5.43). Low-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure was not associated with academic underachievement.

CONCLUSIONS: The type of learning problems expressed depends on the dose, pattern, and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure.

06 May 2014 In Pregnant Women

BACKGROUND: There has been limited research addressing whether behavioural change in relation to alcohol exposure in pregnancy results in better perinatal outcomes.

METHODS: A cohort study of 6725 women who booked for antenatal care and delivered in a large urban teaching hospital in 2010-2011. A detailed history of alcohol consumption pre-pregnancy and during early pregnancy was recorded at the first antenatal visit with follow-up of the mother and infant until discharge following birth. Adverse perinatal outcomes were compared for 'non-drinkers', 'ex-drinkers' and 'current drinkers'.

RESULTS: Of the 6017 (90%) women who reported alcohol consumption prior to pregnancy 3325 (55%) engaged in binge drinking and 266 (4.4%) consumed more than 14 units on average per week. At the time of booking 5649 (94%) women were ex-drinkers and of the 368 women who continued to drink 338 (92%) had a low intake (0-5 units per week), 30 (8%) an excess intake (6-20+ units per week) and 93 (25%) reported at least one episode of binge drinking. Factors associated with continuing to drink in early pregnancy included older maternal age (30-39 years), (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.3 to 1.8), Irish nationality (OR 3.1; 95% CI 2.2 to 4.3) and smoking (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.9 to 3.5). Ex-drinkers had similar perinatal outcomes to non-drinkers. Compared to non-drinkers current drinking was associated with an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) (13% versus 19%, crude OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.1 to 2.2, adjusted OR 1.2; 95% CI 0.8 to 1.8). The greatest risk of IUGR was among women who continued to both drink and smoke, (9% versus 32%, crude OR 4.8; 95% CI 3.3 to 7.0, adjusted OR 4.5; 95% CI 3.1 to 6.7).

CONCLUSIONS: Public Health campaigns need to emphasise the potential health gains of abstaining from both alcohol and smoking in pregnancy.

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