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 20, 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 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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