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Pediatrics. 1986 Sep;78(3):444-50.

Alcohol use in primiparous women older than 30 years of age: relation to infant development.


The effects of maternal alcohol use on mental development, growth, and dysmorphogenesis was studied in a sample of 1-year-old infants born to elderly primiparous mothers. Alcohol intake was measured using Jessor's AA score and a simple count of maximum number of drinks consumed in one day. Infant cognition was assessed using the Bayley Scale of Mental Development. Alcohol levels prior to, during, and following pregnancy were obtained. Alcohol intake was greatly reduced during pregnancy, returning to pregnancy levels following birth. A significant linear relationship between drinking prior to pregnancy and infant mental development was found. The average mental development score of infants whose mothers consumed less than or equal to 3, 3.3 to 29.7, or greater than or equal to 30 mL (less than or equal to 0.10, 0.11 to 0.99, or greater than or equal to 1.0 average fluid ounces) of absolute alcohol per day was 115, 108, and 95, respectively. Maximum number of drinks consumed in a day related to physical anomalies. No alcohol measure was significantly correlated with condition at birth, postnatal illness, or growth parameters of height, weight, and head circumference at 1 year. Deficits found were less pronounced than those reported in infants with fetal alcohol syndrome.

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