Maternal alcohol drinking pattern during pregnancy and the risk for an offspring with an isolated congenital heart defect and in particular a ventricular septal defect or an atrial septal defect

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BACKGROUND: This cohort study examines the possible association between maternal alcohol intake, including binge drinking, during pregnancy, and the subsequent risk of having a child with an isolated congenital heart defect and, more specifically, with the isolated form of ventricular septal defect (VSD) or of an atrial septal defect (ASD). METHODS: Participants were 80,346 pregnant women who were enrolled into the Danish National Birth Cohort in 1996-2002 and gave birth to a live-born singleton without any chromosome anomalies. Twice during pregnancy these women were asked about their intake of alcohol. Few (if any) women with an excessive/abusive intake of alcohol were enrolled into the Danish National Birth Cohort. RESULTS: Through linkage with the National Hospital Discharge Registry, we identified 477 infants with a diagnosis of isolated congenital heart defect registered at any time during their first 3½-years of life; they included 198 infants with a VSD and 145 with an ASD. Neither the number of episodes of binge drinking nor binge drinking during three different developmental periods was associated with VSD or ASD. Women drinking ½-1½, 2, and 3+ drinks of alcohol per week had adjusted prevalence ratios of delivering an infant with a VSD of 1.22 (95% CI = 0.90-1.66); 1.38 (95% CI = 0.83-2.28); and 1.10 (95% CI = 0.54-2.23), respectively. The test for trend was 0.29. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal exposure to low-to-moderate levels of alcohol on a weekly basis or occasional binge drinking during the early part of pregnancy was not statistical significantly associated with the prevalence of isolated VSD and ASD in offspring. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBirth Defects Research. Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2011

ID: 33723849