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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prenatal alcohol exposure and childhood balance ability: findings from a UK birth cohort study

To investigate the association of prenatal
alcohol exposure with balance in10-year-old children.

Population-based prospective longitudinal study.

Former Avon region of UK (SouthwestEngland).

6915 children from the Avon

Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children who had a balance assessment at age 10 and had data on maternal alcohol consumption. 
3 composite balance scores: dynamic balance (beam-walking), static balance eyes open, static balance eyes closed (heel-to-toe balance on a beam and standing on one leg, eyes open or closed).

Most mothers (95.5%) consumed no-tomoderate amounts (3
–7 glasses/week) of alcohol during pregnancy. Higher total-alcohol consumption was associated with maternal-social advantage, whereas binge drinking ( 4 units/day) and abstinence were associated with maternal social disadvantage. No evidence was found of an adverse effect of
maternal-alcohol consumption on childhood balance. Higher maternal-alcohol use during pregnancy was  generally associated with better offspring outcomes, with some specific effects appearing strong (static
balance eyes open and moderate total alcohol exposure at 18 weeks, adjusted OR 1.23 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.49); static balance eyes closed and moderate total alcohol exposure at 18 weeks, adjusted OR 1.25 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.48). Similar results were found for both paternal Mendelian randomization approach was used to estimate the association between maternal genotype and offspring balance using the non-synonymous variant rs1229984*A ( ADH1B) to proxy for lower maternal alcohol consumption; no strong associations were found between this genotype/proxy and offspring balance.

No evidence was found to indicate that moderate maternal alcohol consumption in this population sample had an adverse effect on offspring balance at age 10. An apparent beneficial effect of higher total maternal alcohol consumption on offspring balance appeared likely to reflect residual confounding.


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