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Am J Prev Med. 2016 Aug;51(2):240-248. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Fathers' Role in Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies: Systematic Review of Human Studies.

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National Drug Research Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Electronic address:
National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.



The role of paternal alcohol consumption on fetal and infant health outcomes, and on social facilitation of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, has not been well established. This review identifies the range of impacts of paternal preconception alcohol consumption and alcohol consumption during partner's pregnancy, on maternal consumption, and fetal and infant health outcomes.


The review accessed articles from the following databases: Scopus, Science Direct, Wiley Online, MEDLINE, ProQuest Central, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. The review included medium- and large-scale studies that provided separate paternal alcohol results, had a non-respondent rate ≤20%, an attrition rate ≤10% per year of data collection up to 30%, and were published between 1990 and 2014. The review included both randomly and non-randomly selected studies, and both case-control and non-case-control studies with notation on risk of bias.


Independent extraction and assessment of articles by two authors was conducted using predefined data fields, including study quality indicators, during 2015. Studies included in the review (11 studies, N=41,062) provide evidence that paternal alcohol consumption during preconception or during pregnancy has an impact on maternal health and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, fetal outcomes, and infant health outcomes.


Attention to paternal preconception health care related to alcohol consumption is an important future focus in policies dealing with reproductive, prenatal, fetal, and infant health.

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