Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pregnant women should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, experts say

Date:
June 22, 2012
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Experts disagree with a series of new studies from Denmark that suggest consumption of up to 8 alcoholic drinks a week or occasional binge drinking during pregnancy is generally safe for the developing baby.

Experts at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine disagree with a series of new studies from Denmark that suggest consumption of up to 8 alcoholic drinks a week or occasional binge drinking during pregnancy is generally safe for the developing baby.

Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD, professor in the UCSD Department of Pediatrics and a renowned expert in birth defects, and Christina Chambers, MPH, PhD, director of the California Teratogen Information Service (CTIS) Pregnancy Health Information Line, say these studies are misleading to pregnant women, citing more than 30 years of research to the contrary.

"This series of studies collected data on alcohol exposure during an interview conducted sometime between 7 and 39 weeks of pregnancy. The quantity and frequency of alcohol consumed was based on mother's recall which may not be accurate," said Jones who was one of the first doctors to identify Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in 1973.

Published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the series of studies analyzed data from more than 1,600 women in the Danish National Birth Cohort. The amount of alcohol consumed by the women during their pregnancy was classified as either none, low, moderate, or high. In addition, binge drinking was defined as having 5 or more drinks on a single occasion. When the child reached the age of 5, the children underwent various development tests. Researchers found no significant association between prenatal alcohol consumption at low and moderate levels and general intelligence, attention, executive function or IQ. However, only half of the women invited in the follow-up studies agreed to participate. It is possible that those women who drank during pregnancy and who agreed to participate were more likely to have higher functioning children.

Chambers, a UCSD School of Medicine professor, pointed out the overwhelming evidence of more than 30 years of research supporting the conclusion that alcohol, especially alcohol consumed in a binge pattern, can be harmful to the developing baby.

"Individual women metabolize alcohol differently, and vary in terms of how susceptible they may be to having an affected child," Chambers said. "Although we do not want to alarm women who find out they are pregnant and realize that they have consumed low levels of alcohol before they knew they were pregnant, we emphasize that a 'safe' amount of alcohol that any individual woman can drink while pregnant is impossible to establish. The best advice continues to be that women should avoid alcohol entirely during the nine months that she is carrying the baby."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H-L Falgreen Eriksen, EL Mortensen, T Kilburn, M Underbjerg, J Bertrand, H Stψvring, T Wimberley, J Grove, US Kesmodel. The effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure in early pregnancy on IQ in 5-year-old children. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03394.x

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Pregnant women should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120622162816.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2012, June 22). Pregnant women should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120622162816.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Pregnant women should avoid alcohol during pregnancy, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120622162816.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 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