Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drinking during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth, study finds

Date:
April 11, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. But there are conflicting reports about how much alcohol, if any, it is safe for a pregnant woman to drink. New research looked at the amounts of alcohol women drank during their early pregnancy and showed the effect this had on their babies.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. But there are conflicting reports about how much alcohol, if any, it is safe for a pregnant woman to drink. New research published in Biomed Central's open access journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth looked at the amounts of alcohol women drank during their early pregnancy and showed the effect this had on their babies.

Researchers in Dublin questioned more than 60,000 pregnant women during their hospital booking interview, which usually occurred 10-12 weeks after conception. The women were asked about their home life, whether they worked, what their nationality was, as well as their drinking habits prior to their antenatal booking visit. This data was compared to data from the birth record and to records from the special care baby unit.

While about a fifth of these women said that they never drank, 71% claimed to be occasional drinkers (0-5 units a week). Within this low-alcohol group there was one case of fetal alcohol syndrome, so it is likely that some of the women were underestimating (or under reporting) the amount they drank. In general, fetal alcohol syndrome occurred less frequently than expected in this study, suggesting that it is either not recognized by medical staff or only becomes apparent after the mother and baby have left the hospital.

10% of the pregnant women drank a moderate amount of alcohol (6-20 units a week). These women were more likely to smoke, be in work and to have private health care compared to those who never drank. Only 2 in 1000 admitted to being heavy drinkers (greater than 20 units per week). These women were most likely to be young and to have used illegal drugs.

The moderate and heavy drinkers were often first time mums (not surprisingly, unplanned pregnancy was associated with heavy drinking). Heavy drinking was also related to very premature birth, and hence all the problems premature babies have including the increased risk of disease as an adult. However, there was no difference in occurrence of congenital or other birth defects regardless of the amount of alcohol drunk.

Prof Murphy said, "This study emphasizes the need for improved detection of alcohol misuse in pregnancy and for early intervention in order to minimize the risks to the developing fetus. We would recommend that further research is required before even low amounts of alcohol can be considered safe."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aoife Mullally, Brian J Cleary, Joe Barry, Tom P Fahey, Deirdre J Murphy. Prevalence, predictors and perinatal outcomes of peri-conceptional alcohol exposure - retrospective cohort study in an urban obstetric population in Ireland. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2011; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Drinking during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194711.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, April 11). Drinking during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194711.htm
BioMed Central. "Drinking during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194711.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins