International Research on Drinking During Pregnancy

The Danish Medical Research Council — Copenhagen, Denmark

Toddler holding a globe

While heavy alcohol use during pregnancy is known to result in facial abnormalities, growth retardation, and serious central nervous system deficits of the fetus, information on the levels of alcohol exposure that result in these disabilities is extremely limited. Information on the full range of central nervous system problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure also is lacking. CDC partnered with the Danish Medical Research Council to explore these issues and specifically, to examine potential central nervous system vulnerabilities and deficits among children with varying levels of prenatal alcohol exposure in a population-based cohort of mothers and children.

This study examined central nervous system development of children with varying levels of alcohol exposure identified through the Danish National Birth Cohort. The Danish National Birth Cohort is a population-based cohort study of mothers and their children in Denmark. Through a telephone survey, researchers obtained medical information (including alcohol use) from women enrolled in the study prior to pregnancy. Following these women through pregnancy and birth offers the opportunity to also follow their children, who may have been prenatally exposed to alcohol. Medical, behavioral, and intellectual information were gathered from these children when they were five years old. A comparison group of children without alcohol exposure were examined.

Related Scientific Articles

Are Low to Moderate Average Alcohol Consumption and Isolated Episodes of Binge Drinking in Early Pregnancy Associated with Facial Features Related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Five‐Year‐Old Children?
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 2019; DOI:10.1111/acer.14047
Kesmodel US, Nygaard SS, Mortensen EL, Bertrand J, Denny CH,  Glidewell A, Hemingway SA.
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effect of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and binge drinking episodes on draw-a-person at age 5 years
Medical Research Archives 2015;2(2):1-6. DOI
Jensen LU, Falgreen Eriksen HL, Marchetta C, Reynolds M, Owens JR, Denny CH, Kesmodel US, Mortensen EL, Bertrand J. .
[Read SummaryExternal]

The association of pre-pregnancy alcohol drinking with child neuropsychological functioning 
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2014; DOI 10.1111/1471-0528.13172
Kesmodel U, Kjaersgaard M, Denny C, Bertrand J, Skogerbø Å, Eriksen HL, Bay B, Underbjerg M, Mortensen E.
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on behavior in 5-year-old children: a prospective cohort study on 1628 children
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; 2013; doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12208
Skogerbø Å, Kesmodel US, Denny CH, Kjaersgaard MIS, Wimberley T, Landrø NI, Mortensen EL
[Read SummaryExternal]

Does binge drinking during early pregnancy increase the risk of psychomotor deficits?
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research; 2013; doi: 10.1111/acer.12072
Kesmodel US, Bay B, Wimberley T, Eriksen H-LF, Mortensen EL
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child’s intelligence, attention, and executive function
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03393.x
Kesmodel US, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Skarpness B, Denny CH, Mortensen EL, and the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group (Bakketeig LS, Boyle CA, Cogswell ME, Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Grove J, Kilburn T, Landrø NI, Skogerbø Å, Underbjerg M, Wimberley T)
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure in early pregnancy on IQ in 5- year-old children
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03394.x
Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Mortensen EL, Kilburn T, Underbjerg M, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Wimberley T, Grove J, Kesmodel US
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effect of alcohol binge drinking in early pregnancy on general intelligence in children
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03395.x
Kesmodel US, Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Underbjerg M, Kilburn TR, Støvring H, Wimberley T, Mortensen EL
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03396.x
Underbjerg M, Kesmodel US, Landrø NI, Bakketeig L, Grove J, Wimberley T, Kilburn TR, Sværke C, Thorsen P, Mortensen EL
[Read SummaryExternal]

The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on executive function in 5-year-old children
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03397.x
Skogerbø Å, Kesmodel US, Wimberley T, Støvring H, Bertrand J, Landrø NI, Mortensen EL
[Read SummaryExternal

Low to moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and risk of psychomotor deficits
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research; 2011; doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01657.x
Bay B, Støvring H, Wimberley T, Denny CH, Mortensen EL, Eriksen HL, Kesmodel US
[Read SummaryExternal]

Moderate Alcohol Intake in Pregnancy and the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion
Alcohol & Alcoholism; 2002; 37(1):87-92
Kesmodel U, Wisborg K, Olsen SF, Henriksen TB, Secher NJ.
[Read summaryExternal]