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

Authors


  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Correspondence: Dr Å Skogerbø, Department of Public Health, Medical Psychology Unit, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, DK–1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark. Email aask@sund.ku.dk

Abstract

Objective

To examine 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.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Neuropsychological testing in four Danish cities, 2003–2008.

Population

A total of 1628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Methods

Participants were sampled 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.

Main outcome measure

Behaviour among children assessed by the SDQ parent and teacher forms.

Results

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).

Conclusion

This study 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.

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