Assessing maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy: comparison of confidential postnatal maternal interview and measurement of alcohol biomarkers in meconium

Elizabeth Henderson, David Tappin, David Young, Donata Favretto, Helen Mactier

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Abstract

Objective -- Knowledge of alcohol consumption in pregnancy is important for early identification of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. We investigated whether alcohol biomarkers fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) and ethyl glucuronide (EtG) in meconium are predicted by maternal or newborn demographics and/or correlate with confidential early postnatal self-report of alcohol consumption in pregnancy.

Design -- Anonymised, observational population-based study.

Setting -- Inner-city maternity unit, Glasgow, UK.

Patients -- Singleton mother/infant dyads delivering every fourth day.

Interventions -- Mother: confidential postnatal interview. Baby: meconium sample for FAEEs and EtG.

Results -- 840/908 mothers consented. 370 (46.4%) reported alcohol consumption in pregnancy, generally of modest amount; for 114 (13.6%) this was after 20 weeks’ gestation. Alcohol consumption in later pregnancy was more commonly reported by older (31.3 vs 29.5 years) women of white British ethnicity (p

Conclusions -- FAEEs and EtG measured in meconium have low sensitivity and specificity for self-reported alcohol consumption after 20 weeks’ gestation in an unselected Scottish population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-664
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Volume108
Issue number8
Early online date30 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • infant development
  • neonatology
  • child health

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