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Article
June 28, 1985

Maternal Alcohol Consumption and Birth Weight

Author Affiliations

Boston University School of Medicine

JAMA. 1985;253(24):3550-3551. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480058012
Abstract

To the Editor.—  The association between light drinking and low birth weight reported by Mills et al1 in "Maternal Alcohol Consumption and Birth Weight" must be cautiously considered. In a cohort of 31,604 pregnancies, the 3% who drank the most included women reporting consumption of one to two drinks per day (2.4%), those reporting three to four drinks per day (0.4%), and those reporting six or more drinks per day (0.1%). Decreased birth weights were observed in offspring of these 3% of the mothers. In light of many other surveys of drinking practices among pregnant women, which have identified 2% to 14% of pregnant women as heavy drinkers,2 we suggest that the top 3% in this study may have been underreporting their alcohol use. Thus, while there is clearly a higher incidence of low birth weight among offspring of the women in this top 3%, an association between light drinking and reduced birth weight is not demonstrated.

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