Study: Drinking during pregnancy still not a good idea

November 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

A new study shows that there is still no safe amount to drink during a pregnancy.

The study led by Oxford and Bristol university researchers is different from past studies as it is the first to use genetic variation, to investigate the effect of moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and the children’s IQ, thereby eliminating the influence of other lifestyle and social factors, such as smoking, diet, affluence, and mother’s age and education.

Using data from over 4,000 mothers and their children, the researchers investigated how the mothers’ moderate alcohol intake (1-6 units of alcohol per week) when they were pregnant affected their children’s IQ. Heavy drinkers were not included in the study.

The children’s IQ was tested when they were aged eight using a shortened version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children from which an overall age adjusted total score was derived.

According to the researchers, children of women who were moderate drinkers had four genetic variants in alcohol-metabolising genes that were strongly related to lower IQ at age eight. The child’s IQ was on average almost two points lower per genetic modification they possessed. But no such effect was seen in children whose mothers abstained during pregnancy.

You can read more about this study here.

Entry filed under: Prevention.

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