Prenatal alcohol and offspring development: the first fourteen years

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1994 Oct;36(2):89-99. doi: 10.1016/0376-8716(94)90090-6.


This report summarizes findings from a prospective longitudinal study of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on a birth cohort of 500 offspring selected from 1,529 consecutive pregnant women in prenatal care by mid-pregnancy at two representative community hospitals. Effects of prenatal alcohol observable on size measures at birth were insignificant after 8 months. Morphometric analysis of facial features identified effects only at the very highest alcohol exposure levels. By contrast, dose-dependent effects on neurobehavioral function from birth to 14 years have been established using partial least squares (PLS) methods jointly analysing multiple measures of both alcohol dose and outcome. Particularly salient effects included problems with attention, speed of information processing, and learning problems, especially arithmetic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Washington