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J Pediatr. 1978 Mar;92(3):457-60.

The effects of moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy on fetal growth and morphogenesis.


Information on fetal hazards arising from moderate or low levels of maternal alcohol consumption is unavailable in man. In order to study this question an unselected group of pregnant women was interviewed during pregnancy regarding their alcohol intake. At the time of delivery pairs of high-risk and control infants were examined without knowledge of maternal drinking history. Of 163 infants examined, 11 were judged clinically to show signs compatible with a prenatal effect of alcohol on growth and morphogenesis. Nine of these 11 came from the high-risk drinking group. Only two of these infants were classified as having the fetal alcohol syndrome, and each of the mothers was a very heavy drinker. The other seven infants, who showed lesser alterations of growth and morphogenesis suggestive of fetal alcohol syndrome, were born to women who reported drinking an average of one ounce or more of absolute alcohol per day in the month prior to recognition of pregnancy. These results indicate that both moderate and high levels of alcohol intake during early pregnancy may result in alterations of growth and morphogenesis in the fetus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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