Smoking and alcohol drinking during pregnancy as the risk factors for poor child neurodevelopment – A review of epidemiological studies
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Environmental Epidemiology)
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2015;28(3):419–443
Maternal active and passive smoking and low or moderate alcohol drinking during pregnancy, taking into account the level of exposure and developmental or behavioral outcomes, are recognized as a significant issue from both a clinical and a public health perspective. The article aims at evaluating the impact of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke constituents and low or moderate alcohol drinking during pregnancy on children neurodevelopment by reviewing the most recently published literature. Relevant studies were identified by searching the Pubmed, Medline and Ebsco literature databases. This review is restricted to 29 human studies published in English in peer reviewed journals since 2006. The studies published recently continued to show some relationship between tobacco smoke exposure, from active and passive maternal smoking during pregnancy, and children’s psychomotor development independent of other variables, but this relationship is not straightforward. The association is mostly consistent for measures of academic achievements and behavioral problems which require further attention. The results of the studies on low or moderate exposure to alcohol are not fully conclusive, but some of them suggest that consumption of alcohol during pregnancy may adversely affect children’s intelligence quotient (IQ), mental health, memory and verbal or visual performance. As the reviewed studies indicate, maternal lifestyle during pregnancy like alcohol drinking or smoking may affect children neurodevelopment. All effort should be taken to eliminate such exposure to ensure appropriate children’s development.
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Environmental Epidemiology, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland