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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019 Aug;43(8):1727-1733. doi: 10.1111/acer.14121. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Association Analysis: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Hypertension Status in Children and Adolescents.

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Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.



This study examined the relationship between prenatal exposure to alcohol, manifested through fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and pFAS, and hypertension in children and adolescents.


This study was designed to analyze the association between fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) Status and hypertension status. FAS/pFAS-diagnosed respondents (n = 125) were collected from a FASD Clinical database in Atlanta, Georgia. Non-FAS/pFAS respondents (n = 500) were taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Chi-square analyses were used to examine the extent to which FASD status, sex, race/ethnicity, medication use, and obesity status each related to hypertension status. A logistic regression was performed analyzing the relationship between FASD status (y/n: independent) and hypertension status (y/n: dependent) while controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, medication use, and obesity status.


Univariate relationships between hypertension status and FASD status (OR = 8.46, p < 0.001), medication use (OR = 3.25, p < 0.001), and obesity status (OR = 3.03, p = 0.02) proved to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). FASD status significantly predicted hypertension status (β = 2.31, OR = 10.06, p < 0.001) after accounting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, medication use, and obesity status.


The major findings of this study suggest a significant relationship between FASD and hypertension in youth. Race/ethnicity and obesity also proved important in predicting hypertensive blood pressure readings independent of FASD diagnosis. Further research is needed to isolate prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) as a factor promoting increased hypertension and to assess the risk for hypertension in alcohol-affected adults.


Alcohol; Children; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Hypertension; Prenatal Exposure


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