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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42710. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042710. Epub 2012 Aug 15.

Alcohol intake in pregnancy increases the child's risk of atopic dermatitis. the COPSAC prospective birth cohort study of a high risk population.

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Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood, Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Atopic dermatitis has increased four-fold over the recent decades in developed countries, indicating that changes in environmental factors associated with lifestyle may play an important role in this epidemic. It has been proposed that alcohol consumption may be one contributing risk factor in this development.


To analyze the impact of alcohol intake during pregnancy on the development of atopic dermatitis during the first 7 years of life.


The COPSAC cohort is a prospective, longitudinal, birth cohort study of 411 children born to mothers with a history of asthma, followed up for 7 years with scheduled visits every 6 months as well as visits for acute exacerbations of atopic dermatitis. Risk of atopic dermatitis from any alcohol consumption during pregnancy was analyzed as time-to-diagnosis and adjusted for known risk factors.


177 of 411 children developed atopic dermatitis before age 7 years. We found a significant effect of alcohol intake during pregnancy on atopic dermatitis development (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.05-1.99 p=0.024). This conclusion was unaffected after adjustment for smoking, mother's education and mother's atopic dermatitis.


The selection of a high-risk cohort, with all mothers suffering from asthma, and all children having a gestational age above 35 weeks with no congenital abnormality, systemic illness, or history of mechanical ventilation or lower airway infection.


Alcohol intake by pregnant women with a history of asthma, is significantly associated with an increased risk for the child for developing atopic dermatitis during the first 7 years of life.

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