Does antenatal tobacco or alcohol exposure influence a child's cerebral palsy? A population-based study

Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Nov;47(5):349-54. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.08.004.


Antenatal tobacco and alcohol exposure are established risk factors for premature birth and an independent risk factor for cerebral palsy. Both exert adverse effects on fetal development. In children with cerebral palsy, whether antenatal exposure to tobacco or alcohol is associated with a difference in clinical profile remains unknown. The Quebec Cerebral Palsy Registry was used to compare neurologic subtypes, gross motor functional impairment, and comorbidities in children with cerebral palsy who were or were not prenatally exposed to alcohol or tobacco. Information on in utero exposure was available in 249 children with cerebral palsy born from 1999-2002, of whom 77 were exposed to alcohol and 62 to tobacco in utero. No association was evident between exposure to tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy and neurologic subtype, Gross Motor Function Classification System score, mean number of comorbidities experienced, or each of eight comorbidities explored. Adjusting for prematurity or low birth weight exerted no effect on these results. In utero exposure to tobacco or alcohol does not assist in predicting clinical profiles of cerebral palsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance* / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / diagnosis
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Products / adverse effects*