Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and increased risk of stillbirth
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Authors BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology © 2012 RCOG
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 119, Issue 8, pages 945–952, July 2012
How to Cite
O’Leary, C., Jacoby, P., D’Antoine, H., Bartu, A. and Bower, C. (2012), Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and increased risk of stillbirth. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 119: 945–952. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03333.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
- Accepted 7 March 2012. Published Online 9 May 2012.
- data linkage;
- prenatal alcohol;
Please cite this paper as: O’Leary C, Jacoby P, D’Antoine H, Bartu A, Bower C. Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and increased risk of stillbirth. BJOG 2012;119:945–952.
Objective To investigate the association between heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and stillbirth.
Design Data linkage cohort study.
Setting Western Australia (WA).
Population The exposed cohort included mothers with an alcohol-related diagnosis (International Classification of Diseases, ninth/tenth revisions) recorded in health data sets and all their offspring born in WA (1983–2007). Mothers without an alcohol-related diagnosis and their offspring comprised the comparison cohort.
Methods Exposed and comparison mothers were identified through the WA Data Linkage System. Odds ratios for stillbirth at 20 + weeks of gestation were estimated by logistic regression, stratified by Aboriginal status.
Main outcome measures The proportion of stillbirths at 20 + weeks of gestation is presented per 1000 births, as well as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and population-attributable fractions.
Results Increased odds of stillbirth were observed for mothers with an alcohol-related diagnosis at any stage of their life for both non-Aboriginal (aOR 1.36; 95% CI 1.05–1.76) and Aboriginal (aOR 1.33; 95% CI 1.08–1.64) births. When an alcohol diagnosis was recorded during pregnancy, increased odds were observed for non-Aboriginal births (aOR 2.24; 95% CI 1.09–4.60), with the highest odds of Aboriginal stillbirth occurring when an alcohol diagnosis was recorded within 1 year postpregnancy (aOR 2.88; 95% CI 1.75–4.73). The population-attributable fractions indicate that 0.8% of non-Aboriginal and 7.9% of Aboriginal stillbirths are the result of heavy alcohol consumption.
Conclusions Prevention of heavy maternal alcohol use has the potential to reduce stillbirths. The lack of an association between exposure during pregnancy and Aboriginal stillbirth in this study needs further investigation.