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Alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to poor cognitive function of children: Study

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Bristol | January 29, 2020 9:41:28 AM IST
According to a new study conducted by researchers, consuming alcohol during pregnancy might lead to the poorer cognitive functioning of children.

The study based on 23 published reviews was conducted by the researchers from the University of Bristol and was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

The researchers further found out evidence that drinking during pregnancy could also lead to lower birthweight reinforcing the UK Chief Medical Officers' #DRYMESTER guidelines which suggest abstaining from alcohol consumption during all trimesters.

Traditional studies like randomised controlled trials and alternative strategies like comparing children born in the same families whose mothers reduced or increased their alcohol consumption during pregnancy time were some methods used.

Another approach based on genetic-markers known as ''Mendelian randomization' was also used.

Research on this topic has taken place through the 'observational' studies where participants already exposed to a risk factor and researchers do not try to change who is or isn't exposed.

All the studies included in the review tried to compare like with like groups of people who were only different in terms of exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. This is as close as it gets to what would be achieved in an experiment.

While the review was comprehensive it was limited in its ability to establish how much alcohol leads to these negative outcomes. However, the researchers concluded that women should continue to be advised to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

" Our work confirms the current scientific consensus: that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can affect one's child's cognitive abilities later in life, including their education. It might also lead to lower birth weight," said the lead researcher Dr Luisa Zuccolo.

"Our study reinforces the UK Chief Medical Officers' guideline: DRYMESTER (abstaining in all trimesters) is the only safe approach. This message is more important than ever, given recent research which shows the alcohol industry promoting confusing information about the real health implications of drinking during pregnancy," added Zuccolo.(ANI)

 
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