Page last updated: August 19, 2013
The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on behaviour in 5-year-old children

A study from the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark examined 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.

A total of 1,628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort were included in the study, 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.

After results were 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).

This study therefore 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.

Source: The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on behaviour in 5-year-old children: a prospective cohort study on 1628 children. Skogerbø A, Kesmodel U, Denny Ch, Kjaersgaard M, Wimberley T, Landrø N, Mortensen E. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Volume 120, Issue 9, pages 1042–1050, August 2013.

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