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Alcohol Consumption in Pregnancy Ups Miscarriage Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 -- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a dose-dependent increase in miscarriage risk, according to a review published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Alexandra C. Sundermann, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating alcohol exposure during pregnancy and miscarriage. A random-effects meta-analysis was used to calculate the association between alcohol exposure and miscarriage risk.

Based on the 24 articles eligible for inclusion (including a total of 231,808 pregnant women), the researchers found that women consuming alcohol during pregnancy have a greater risk for miscarriage versus those who abstain (odds ratio [OR], 1.19). Findings were consistent across study design, study country, or method of alcohol ascertainment. Each additional drink per week beyond alcohol use of five or fewer drinks per week was associated with a 6 percent increase in miscarriage risk (OR, 1.06). Reported study limitations included difficulty recruiting participants early enough in pregnancy to observe miscarriage and collecting and quantifying information about alcohol consumption during pregnancy that accurately reflects use.

"Future studies evaluating change in alcohol use in pregnancy are needed to provide insight into how alcohol consumption prior to pregnancy recognition impacts risk," the authors write.

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Posted: August 2019

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