Occasional binges by moderate drinkers: implications for birth outcomes

Epidemiology. 1993 Sep;4(5):415-20. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199309000-00006.


We investigated the effects of occasional alcohol binges on birth outcomes in a cohort of live singletons born to 709 moderate drinkers recruited from a Seattle, WA, health maintenance organization before their sixth month of pregnancy. We compared infants of women with one or more binges in the month before pregnancy or in the first two trimesters with those whose mothers reported no binges in either period. Mean values of birthweight, length, head circumference, gestational age, intrauterine growth, and Apgar scores did not differ notably between the two groups. The risk of having an adverse neonatal discharge diagnosis initially appeared lower in infants of binging mothers, but this difference vanished after recategorization of the variable and control for confounding. Our results indicate that occasional binges, during a broad window of exposure and among otherwise moderate drinkers, do not adversely affect the birth outcomes examined here.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Height
  • Cephalometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / drug effects
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperance
  • Time Factors