It has been suggested that even mild exposure to alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and poor diet may have adverse long-term neurodevelopmental effects. In addition, there is evidence that timing of high exposures (e.g. binge drinking) can have particularly negative effects. This paper describes the design and implementation of The Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study addressing major methodological challenges for studies in this field. The study examines the effects of lifestyle during pregnancy on offspring neurodevelopment.
In 2003, we initiated a prospective follow-up of 1750 mother-child pairs, sampled on the basis of maternal alcohol drinking patterns from The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), a study of 101,042 pregnancies enrolled 1997-2003. Data collection in the DNBC involved four prenatal and postnatal maternal interviews, providing detailed information on maternal alcohol drinking patterns before and during pregnancy, caffeine intake, smoking, diet, and other lifestyle, medical, and sociodemographic factors.
At the age of 5 years, the children and their mothers participated in a comprehensive assessment of neurobehavioural development focusing on global cognition, specific cognitive functions, and behaviour. Two new tests assessing attention and speed of information processing among children were developed, and data on important potential confounders such as maternal intelligence quotient, vision, and hearing abilities were collected. Efforts were made to standardise procedures and obtain high inter-rater reliability.
We expect that the study will illuminate the significance or lack of significance of maternal lifestyle during pregnancy and contribute to better understanding the effects of alcohol drinking during pregnancy at low to moderate consumption levels.
"During Pregnancy Study (LDPS) , a prospective followup study of the effects of various maternal lifestyle factors in pregnancy, primarily intake of alcohol, on motor and cognitive outcomes at the age of 5 years. The LDPS is based on a subsample from the Danish National Birth Cohort , a large cohort study with information on 101,042 women and their children, collected by two prenatal and two postnatal telephone interviews. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of tobacco smoking in pregnancy on children's IQ at the age of 5. A prospective follow-up study was conducted on 1,782 women, and their offspring were sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. At 5 years of age, the children were tested with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised. Parental education, maternal IQ, maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy, the sex and age of the child, and tester were considered core confounders, but the full model also controlled for prenatal paternal smoking, maternal age and Bodymass Mass Index, parity, family/home environment, postnatal parental smoking, breast feeding, the child's health status, and indicators for hearing and vision impairments.
Unadjusted analyses showed a statistically significant decrement of 4 points on full-scale IQ (FSIQ) associated with smoking 10+ cigarettes per day compared to nonsmoking. After adjustment for potential confounders, no significant effects of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoking were found. Considering the indisputable teratogenic effects of tobacco smoking, these findings should be interpreted with caution. Still, the results may indicate that previous studies that failed to control for important confounders, particularly maternal intelligence, may be subject to substantial residual confounding.
Journal of pregnancy 12/2012; 2012(2):945196. DOI:10.1155/2012/945196
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy on child motor function at age 5.
A prospective follow-up study of 685 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort based on maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. At 5 years of age, the children were tested with the "Movement Assessment Battery for Children" (MABC). Parental education, maternal IQ, prenatal maternal smoking, the child's age at testing, and gender of child were considered core confounders, while the full model also controlled for prenatal maternal binge drinking episodes, age, maternal prepregnancy body mass index, parity, home environment, postnatal parental smoking, health status, and indicators for hearing and vision impairment.
There were no systematic or significant differences in motor function between children of mothers reporting low to moderate levels of average alcohol consumption during pregnancy and children of mothers who abstained.
In this study, we found no systematic association between low to moderate maternal alcohol intake during pregnancy and child motor function at age 5.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2011; 36(5):807-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01657.x · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the effects of binge alcohol consumption during early pregnancy, including the number of binge episodes and the timing of binge drinking, on general intelligence in 5-year-old children.
Neuropsychological testing in four Danish cities 2003-2008.
A cohort of 1617 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort.
Participants were sampled on the basis of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. At 5 years of age the children were tested with six subtests from the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence - Revised (WPPSI-R). Parental education, maternal IQ, prenatal maternal smoking, the child's age at testing, the gender of the child, and tester were considered core confounding factors, whereas the full model also controlled for prenatal maternal average alcohol intake, maternal age, maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), parity, home environment, postnatal parental smoking, health status, and indicators for hearing and vision impairment.
There were no systematic or significant differences in general intelligence between children of mothers reporting binge drinking and children of mothers with no binge episodes, except that binge drinking in gestational weeks 1-2 significantly reduced the risk of low, full-scale IQ (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.31-0.96) when adjusted for core confounding factors. The results were otherwise not statistically significantly related to the number of binge episodes (with a maximum of 12) and timing of binge drinking.
We found no systematic association between binge drinking during early pregnancy and child intelligence. However, binge drinking reduced the risk of low, full-scale IQ in gestational weeks 1-2. This finding may be explained by residual confounding.
BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 06/2012; 119(10):1222-31. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03395.x · 3.45 Impact Factor
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