25 April 2003
Exposure to alcohol before birth can lead to the development of drinking problems in later life, US researchers have warned.
Women who regularly drank 5 or more drinks in one session were 3 times more likely than lighter drinkers to give birth to a child who would have some form of alcohol dependence by the age of 21 years.
The study of 433 families found that exposure to alcohol before birth was a risk even after accounting for family history of alcohol problems, nicotine exposure before birth, and other aspects of family environment (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60: 377-85).
Last Reviewed: 23 April 2003