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Eur J Epidemiol. 1993 Nov;9(6):599-606.

Moderate maternal drinking and outcome of pregnancy.

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  • 1Istituto diPuericultura, University of Genova, Italy.


The adverse effect of light or moderate maternal drinking during pregnancy on the well being of the newborn has been investigated. The study group included 2145 live births in the obstetric units of 11 Italian cities between February 1989 and July 1990. A detailed life style questionnaire was administered to the mothers. Information on the newborn was collected from clinical records as well as from a clinical examination. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were suggestive of a decrease in mean birth weight associated with maternal drinking pregnancy, especially in women who also smoked during pregnancy. This effect was higher in male newborns. The occurrence of low birth weight (< 2500 g.) was more frequent in women drinking during pregnancy in both smokers and non-smokers (for this latter group an effect is suggested only for a daily consumption of more than 10 grams of absolute alcohol). Maternal alcohol drinking of more than 20 grams of absolute alcohol per day also increased the risk of preterm delivery (OR = 2.35; 95% CI: .98-5.59). Finally, an increase in the rate of early jaundice was found, also associated with maternal drinking (OR = 3.30; 95% CI: 1.03-10.54).

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