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Prevalence, predictors and perinatal outcomes of peri-conceptional alcohol exposure - retrospective cohort study in an urban obstetric population in IrelandMullally, Aoife; Cleary, Brian J; Barry, Joe; Fahey, Tom P; Murphy, Deirdre J (2011-04-11)Abstract Background Evidence-based advice on alcohol consumption is required for pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy. Our aim was to investigate the prevalence, predictors and perinatal outcomes associated with peri-conceptional alcohol consumption. Methods A cohort study of 61,241 women who booked for antenatal care and delivered in a large urban maternity hospital between 2000 and 2007. Self-reported alcohol consumption at the booking visit was categorised as low (0-5 units per week), moderate (6-20 units per week) and high (>20 units per week). Results Of the 81% of women who reported alcohol consumption during the peri-conceptional period, 71% reported low intake, 9.9% moderate intake and 0.2% high intake. Factors associated with moderate alcohol consumption included being in employment OR 4.47 (95% CI 4.17 to 4.80), Irish nationality OR 16.5 (95% CI 14.9 to 18.3), private health care OR 5.83 (95% CI 5.38 to 6.31) and smoking OR 1.86 (95% CI 1.73 to 2.01). Factors associated with high consumption included maternal age less than 25 years OR 2.70 (95% CI 1.86 to 3.91) and illicit drug use OR 6.46 (95% CI 3.32 to 12.60). High consumption was associated with very preterm birth (<32 weeks gestation) even after controlling for socio-demographic factors, adjusted OR 3.15 (95% CI 1.26-7.88). Only three cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome were recorded (0.05 per 1000 total births), one each in the low, moderate and high consumption groups. Conclusions Public Health campaigns need to emphasise the importance of peri-conceptional health and pre-pregnancy planning. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is likely to be under-reported despite the high prevalence of alcohol consumption in this population.