Page last updated: June 2019
Low-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and offspring attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder

A study evaluated the available evidence on the association between low-to-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and the development of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in the offspring.

Following a literature review using searches in EMBASE, Pubmed, Medline, and PsycINFO and selected references, ten studies were included in the systematic review and six in the meta-analysis. Eight studies found no association and two studies suggested an apparent protective effect of low PAE in hyperactivity/inattention symptoms in boys.

These results were confirmed by the meta-analysis which showed no association between ≤ 20 g/week [OR 1.01 (0.68-1.49)], ≤ 50 g/week [OR 0.94 (0.85- 1.03)] and ≤ 70 g/week [OR 0.94 (0.86-1.02)] and ADHD symptoms, with no evidence of publication bias. Stratified analysis by sex for a PAE ≤ 50 g/ week exposed less risk of ADHD symptoms in boys compared to girls [OR 0.89 (0.83-0.96)].

The study therefore found no increased risk of ADHD symptoms in offspring born to mothers who drank alcohol up to 70 g/week.

Source: Low-moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and offspring attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): systematic review and meta-analysis. San Martin Porter M, Maravilla JC, Betts KS, Alati R. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2019 Jun 3. 019-05204-x
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