Background: The association between fetal exposure to alcohol and congenital structural disorders remains inconclusive. The present study searched for relationships between maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the risk of congenital malformations. Methods: We evaluated the fixed dataset of a large national birth cohort study including 73,595 mothers with a singleton live birth. Information regarding the alcohol consumption of mothers was obtained from self-reported questionnaires. Physicians assessed for 6 major congenital malformations (congenital heart defects [CHDs], male genital abnormalities, limb defects, cleft lip and/or cleft palate [orofacial clefts (OFC)], severe brain abnormalities, and gastrointestinal obstructions) up to 1 month after birth. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify associations between maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and each malformation. Results: The prevalence of maternal drinking in early pregnancy and until the second/third trimester was 46.6% and 2.8%, respectively. The onset of CHD was inversely associated with mothers who quit drinking during early pregnancy (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.74–0.98). There was no remarkable impact of maternal drinking habit status on the other congenital malformations after adjustment for covariates. Conclusions: Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, even in early pregnancy, displayed no significant adverse impact on congenital malformations of interest. Impact: This large-scale Japanese cohort study revealed that no teratogenic associations were found between maternal retrospective reports of periconceptional alcohol consumption and congenital malformations after adjustment for covariates.This is the first nationwide birth cohort study in Japan to assess the effect of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy on major congenital malformations.Our finding indicated that maternal low-to-moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy, even in early pregnancy, displayed no significant adverse impact on congenital heart defects, male genital abnormalities, limb defects, orofacial clefts, severe brain abnormalities, or gastrointestinal obstructions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health