Any Level of Alcohol During Pregnancy Results in Craniofacial Anomalies

The FASD Prevention Conversation Project


Prenatal alcohol exposure typically leads to fetal alcohol syndrome and associated disorders. Muggli and colleagues found that even low levels of alcohol exposure are linked to craniofacial anomalies in children, which may indicate cognitive disorders even at low levels of alcohol exposure.

Expectant mothers are told to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can result in fetal alcohol syndrome or related disorders, in which infants experience developmental and cognitive disorders, including motor and speech problems. In addition, many children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome appear to display specific craniofacial characteristics. However, assessments of craniofacial shape tend to be simplistic.

To investigate the relationship of prenatal alcohol exposure to craniofacial disorders, Muggli and colleagues published a study in JAMA Pediatrics in which they linked craniofacial characteristics in children to varying degrees of alcohol consumption by the mother. Their sample consisted of 415 white Australian children, aged 12 months…

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