Alcohol, cigarette smoking, and ovarian reserve in reproductive-age African-American women

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Dec;215(6):758.e1-758.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.07.012. Epub 2016 Jul 11.


Background: Although alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are common behaviors in reproductive-age women, little is known about the impact of consumption patterns on ovarian reserve. Even less is known about the effects of smoking and alcohol use in reproductive-age African-American women.

Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the impact of the patterns of alcohol intake and cigarette smoking on anti-Müllerian hormone levels as a marker of ovarian reserve in African-American women.

Study design: This was a cross-sectional analysis from the baseline clinical visit and data collection of the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids performed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. A total of 1654 volunteers, aged 23-34 years, recruited from the Detroit, Michigan community completed questionnaires on alcohol intake and cigarette smoking and provided serum for anti-Müllerian hormone measurement. Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used as appropriate to estimate the effect of a range of exposure patterns on anti-Müllerian hormone levels while adjusting for potential confounders including age, body mass index, and hormonal contraception.

Results: Most participants were alcohol drinkers (74%). Of those, the majority (74%) engaged in binge drinking at least once in the last year. Women who reported binge drinking twice weekly or more had 26% lower anti-Müllerian hormone levels compared with current drinkers who never binged (95% confidence interval, -44, -2, P < .04). Other alcohol consumption patterns (both past and current) were unrelated to anti-Müllerian hormone. The minority of participants currently (19%) or formerly (7%) smoked, and only 4% of current smokers used a pack a day or more. Neither smoking status nor second-hand smoke exposure in utero, childhood, or adulthood was associated with anti-Müllerian hormone levels.

Conclusion: Results suggest that current, frequent binge drinking may have an adverse impact on ovarian reserve. Other drinking and smoking exposures were not associated with anti-Müllerian hormone in this cohort of healthy, young, African-American women. A longitudinal study of how these common lifestyle behaviors have an impact on the variability in age-adjusted anti-Müllerian hormone levels is merited.

Keywords: alcohol; anti-Müllerian hormone; cigarette smoking; ovarian reserve; second-hand smoke.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ovarian Reserve*
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone