Seizures are often found in children with fetal alcohol syndrome, but it is not known whether binge drinking during pregnancy by nonalcoholic women is associated with an increased risk of seizure disorders in children. The authors conducted a population-based cohort study of 80,526 liveborn singletons in the Danish National Birth Cohort (1996-2002). Information on maternal binge drinking (intake of > or = 5 drinks on a single occasion) was collected in 2 computer-assisted telephone interviews during pregnancy. Children were followed for up to 8 years. Information on neonatal seizures, epilepsy, and febrile seizures was retrieved from the Danish National Hospital Register. Results showed that exposure to binge drinking episodes during pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of seizure disorders in children, except for those exposed at 11-16 gestational weeks. These children had a 3.15-fold increased risk of neonatal seizures (95% confidence interval: 1.37, 7.25) and a 1.81-fold increased risk of epilepsy (95% confidence interval: 1.13, 2.90). These findings suggest that maternal binge drinking during a specific time period of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of specific seizure disorders in the offspring. The results are exploratory, however, and need to be replicated.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether the frequency and timing of binge drinking episodes (intake of five or more drinks on one occasion) during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy increase the risk of fetal death. METHODS: The study is based upon data from 89,201 women who were enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort from 1996 to 2002 and participated in an interview that took place in midpregnancy (n=86,752) or after a fetal loss (n=2,449). In total, 3,714 pregnancies resulted in fetal death. Data were analyzed by means of Cox regression models. RESULTS: Neither the frequency nor the timing of binge episodes was related to the risk of early (at or before 12 completed weeks) or late (13-21 completed weeks) spontaneous abortion. However, three or more binge episodes showed an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.56 (95% confidence interval 1.01-2.40) for stillbirth (22 or more completed weeks) relative to nonbinge drinkers. Women with an average intake of three or more drinks per week and two or more binge drinking episodes had a hazard ratio of 2.20 (95% confidence interval 1.73-2.80) compared with women with no average intake and no binge drinking. CONCLUSION: Binge drinking three or more times during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, but neither frequency nor timing of binge drinking was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion in clinically recognized pregnancies.
BACKGROUND: Consumption of high doses of alcohol on a single occasion (binge drinking) may harm the developing foetus and pregnant women are advised to avoid binge drinking while pregnant. We present characteristics of Danish women who binge drank in the pre-and post recognised part of their pregnancy. METHODS: During the years 1996-2002 approximately 100,000 pregnant women were enrolled into the Danish National Birth Cohort. Women with information on binge drinking, time of recognition of pregnancy, age, reproductive history, marital status, smoking, occupational status, pre-pregnancy BMI, alcohol consumption before pregnancy, and mental disorders (n = 85,334) were included in the analyses. RESULTS: Approximately one quarter of the women reported binge drinking at least once during pregnancy; most of these in the pre-recognised part of pregnancy. Weekly alcohol consumption before pregnancy, single status and smoking were predictors for binge drinking in both the unrecognised and recognised part of pregnancy. Moreover, binge drinking in the pre-recognised part of pregnancy was more common among women aged 25-29 years, who were nulliparous, well educated in good jobs or skilled workers. Binge drinking after recognition of pregnancy was more common among women who were unintended pregnant, multiparous unskilled workers, had been unemployed for more than one year, or had mental/neurotic disorder. CONCLUSIONS: In order to prevent binge drinking during pregnancy, health care providers should target their efforts towards pregnant women as well as pregnancy-planners. It is important to be aware that women who binge drink before versus after the pregnancy is recognised have different social characteristics.
Intrauterine exposure to artificial sex hormones such as oral contraceptives may be associated with an increased risk of fetal death. Between 1996 and 2002, a total of 92 719 women were recruited to The Danish National Birth Cohort and interviewed about exposures during pregnancy. Outcome of pregnancy was identified through linkage to the Civil Registration System and the National Discharge Registry. The authors analysed the risk of fetal death after recruitment to the cohort by using proportional hazards regression models with gestational age as the underlying time scale. In total, 1102 (1.2%) women took oral contraceptives during pregnancy. Use of combined oestrogen and progesterone oral contraceptives (COC) or progesterone-only oral contraceptives (POC) during pregnancy was not associated with increased hazard ratios of fetal death compared with non-users, HR 1.01 [95% CI 0.71, 1.45] and HR 1.37 [95% CI 0.65, 2.89] respectively. Neither use of COC nor POC prior to pregnancy was associated with fetal death. Stratification by maternal age and smoking showed elevated risks of fetal death for women