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.

23 November 2022 In Pregnant Women

BACKGROUND: This hypothesis-testing study evaluated the relationship between fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and neurodevelopmental disorder (ND) diagnoses within the Independent Healthcare Research Database (IHRD).

METHODS: De-identified eligibility and claim healthcare records prospectively generated from the 1990-2012 Florida Medicaid system were analyzed using SAS software. There were 89,766 children continuously eligible with >/=10 outpatient office visits during the 120 month period following birth in the cohort examined. A total of 321 children were diagnosed with FAS. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 922), tics (n = 551), attention deficit disorder/attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) (n = 20,260), mental retardation (MR) (n = 915), and specific delays in development (SDD) (n = 24,630) incidence rates were examined using frequency risk ratio (RR) and logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of tics (RR = 5.68), ADD/ADHD (RR = 2.30), MR (RR = 7.83), SDD (RR = 2.88), and ASD (RR = 6.74) were significantly increased among FAS diagnosed children as compared to undiagnosed children. Adjusted (for gender, race, residency, and date of birth) odds ratios (ORs) were significantly increased for tics (OR = 4.87), ADD/ADHD (OR = 3.40), MR (OR = 7.91), SDD (OR = 9.56), and ASD (OR = 6.87) when comparing the FAS diagnosed children to undiagnosed children.

CONCLUSION: Tens of thousands of American children with lifetime costs in the billions of US dollars were estimated to be impacted by FAS-associated NDs. These impacts are particularly tragic because FAS is dependent upon lifestyle.

15 June 2022 In Pregnant Women

Fetal alcohol exposure can lead to a range of developmental disorders, including impaired fetal growth and development of multiple organ systems. These disorders are grouped under the term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Adequate nutrition and a conducive intrauterine environment are essential for healthy fetal development. Nutrient deficiencies resulting from inadequate maternal nutrient ingestion may be compounded by alcohol-induced altered nutrient metabolism, placental clearance, and malabsorption. Alcohol-induced alteration of the intrauterine environment is the main source of developmental deficits and nutritional insufficiencies can worsen the effects on fetal development. In this review, we discuss studies examining the collective and interactive effects of nutrition (specifically iron, selenium, vitamin A, thiamine, zinc, folate, vitamin B12, choline, and amino acids) relative to gestational alcohol consumption and its effects on fetal growth and development. We also summarize scientific reports that tested potential benefits of micronutrient supplementation in animal models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and in humans. In summary, the deleterious effects of alcohol exposure in relation to nutrient homeostasis further validate that avoidance of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the most effective way to mitigate the teratogenic effects of alcohol.

26 May 2021 In Pregnant Women

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with major birth defects and developmental disabilities. Questionnaires concerning alcohol consumption during pregnancy underestimate alcohol use while the use of a reliable and objective biomarker for alcohol consumption enables more accurate screening. Phosphatidylethanol can detect low levels of alcohol consumption in the previous two weeks. In this study we aimed to biochemically assess the prevalence of alcohol consumption during early pregnancy using phosphatidylethanol in blood and compare this with self-reported alcohol consumption.

METHODS: To evaluate biochemically assessed prevalence of alcohol consumption during early pregnancy using phosphatidylethanol levels, we conducted a prospective, cross-sectional, single center study in the largest tertiary hospital of the Netherlands. All adult pregnant women who were under the care of the obstetric department of the Erasmus MC and who underwent routine blood testing at a gestational age of less than 15 weeks were eligible. No specified informed consent was needed.

RESULTS: The study was conducted between September 2016 and October 2017. In total, we received 1,002 residual samples of 992 women. After applying in- and exclusion criteria we analyzed 684 samples. Mean gestational age of all included women was 10.3 weeks (SD 1.9). Of these women, 36 (5.3 %) tested positive for phosphatidylethanol, indicating alcohol consumption in the previous two weeks. Of women with a positive phosphatidylethanol test, 89 % (n = 32) did not express alcohol consumption to their obstetric care provider.

CONCLUSIONS: One in nineteen women consumed alcohol during early pregnancy with a high percentage not reporting this use to their obstetric care provider. Questioning alcohol consumption by an obstetric care provider did not successfully identify (hazardous) alcohol consumption. Routine screening with phosphatidylethanol in maternal blood can be of added value to identify women who consume alcohol during pregnancy.

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