Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Preterm Delivery, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Department of Family Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee.
Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 0.58). 03/2011; 34(1):86-91.
Source: PubMed


In addition to fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with many other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Research suggests that alcohol use during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome. This research has some inherent difficulties, such as the collection of accurate information about alcohol consumption during pregnancy and controlling for comorbid exposures and conditions. Consequently, attributing poor birth outcomes to prenatal alcohol exposure is a complicated and ongoing task, requiring continued attention to validated methodology and to identifying specific biological mechanisms.

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    • "Estimations of the prevalence of FASD in school age children in the USA and Europe are 2–5% (May et al., 2009). These estimations do not count miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant death, thus likely underestimating the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure (Bailey and Sokol, 2011). For FAS, the most severe of the FASDs, two to seven cases are diagnosed per 1,000 live births in the USA. "
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    • "The FAS victims also have a high rate of behavioral management problems. FASD is the term used to describe the wide range of deleterious outcomes following PAE, associated with serious pregnancy and birth defects (Bailey and Sokol, 2011). Alcohol abuse during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). "

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    • "Not surprisingly, exposure to certain toxins during pregnancy has a well-documented association with a host of adversities that may persist beyond childhood and pose problems across years of development. Prenatal exposure to alcohol, for instance, has been linked to a variety of deleterious outcomes including fetal alcohol syndrome, preterm delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome (Bailey and Sokol, 2011). Similarly harmful effects have been uncovered for lead (Needleman, 2004), mercury (Grandjean et al., 1997), as well as other heavy metal toxins (Lewis et al., 1992). "
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    ABSTRACT: An ever-growing body of research has begun to focus closely on the role of prenatal smoke exposure in the development of conduct problems in children. To this point, there appears to be a correlation between prenatal nicotine exposure and behavioral problems. We build on this prior research by examining the coalescence of prenatal smoke exposure and genetic risk factors in the prediction of behavior problems. Specifically, the current study analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of twin pairs collected during early childhood. Our findings suggested that an interaction existed between prenatal smoke exposure and genetic risk factors which corresponded to increased risk of behavior problems. These findings provide evidence of a gene-environment interaction, in that prenatal smoke exposure conditioned the influence of genetic risk factors in the prediction of aggressive behavior. Interestingly, the association between genetic risk and prenatal smoking was sex-specific, and only reached statistical significance in females. Given the nature of our findings, it may shed light on why heterogeneity exists concerning the relationship between prenatal smoke exposure and externalizing behavioral problems in children.
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