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Early Alcohol Use in Pregnancy Tied to Gastroschisis

No association seen with illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drug use

woman drinking

TUESDAY, April 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption early in pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of gastroschisis in neonates, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.

Jean R. Goodman, M.D., from the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., and colleagues conducted a case-control study among singleton pregnancies diagnosed in a tertiary teaching hospital in a 22-month period. Thirty cases of gastroschisis were matched to 76 controls at the time of diagnosis by race and maternal age. Illicit drug hair analysis were evaluated, as well as demographics, periconceptual exposures, and nutritional biomarkers.

The researchers found no associations with illicit drug use or serum levels of ferritin, iron, B6, B12, folate, or zinc. Similarly, there was no difference between the groups with regard to either prescription medication or over-the-counter mediation. Mothers of gastroschisis cases had an increased odds of alcohol use one month prior and/or during early pregnancy compared with controls (adjusted odds ratio, 3.19), when adjusting for insurance, education, low body mass index, and nulliparity.

"Our findings suggest that further investigation of vasoactive stimulants such as alcohol is warranted in the search to identify risk factors for gastroschisis," the authors write.

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