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Low level prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with adverse behavioural outcomes in children at 6 to 7 years of age

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 QUESTION: What are the effects of low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure on child behaviour at 6 to 7 years of age?


Cohort study with follow up of 6 to 7 years.


An urban, university based, maternity clinic in Detroit, Michigan, USA.


501 African-American parent–child (52% boys) pairs. All women who reported alcohol consumption at conception of ≥ 0.5 ounces of absolute alcohol per day and a 5% sample of lower level drinkers and abstainers were invited to participate (> 2400 women were screened). Exclusion criteria were women positive for HIV and without prenatal care, and children who missed multiple test appointments, had major congenital malformation other than the fetal alcohol syndrome, had an intelligence quotient > 2 standard deviations from the sample mean, or had incomplete data.

Assessment of risk factors

Mothers were screened at their first prenatal visit for alcohol and drug use. Maternal alcohol, cigarette, and illicit …

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  • Source of funding: National Institutes of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr V Delaney-Black, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI, USA. vdelaney{at}