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Alcohol during pregnancy raises child’s risk of having low IQs, ADHD, study finds

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Just two alcoholic drinks a month during pregnancy raises children’s risk of having low Intelligence Quotients (IQs) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), new research suggests.

Youngsters whose mothers drank while expecting score six points lower on IQ tests and are more likely to have poor attention skills than those whose mums went teetotal, a German study found.

Such children have 193 mutated genes, which are associated with brain cell development, the research adds.

The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Previous studies suggest youngsters who were exposed to alcohol in the womb are more likely to suffer from hyperactivity and impulsive actions.

The Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) Yaba, the British National Health Service (NHS) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend pregnant women or those trying to conceive abstain from alcohol.

How the research was carried out: The researchers, from the University Hospital Erlangen, analysed 1,100 pregnant women, with health information being collected during their third trimesters.

The women were told their newborns would be tested for meconium EtG, which is a by-product of alcohol degeneration.

Around 75 per cent of meconium EtG accumulates in foetus’ guts during the last eight weeks of pregnancy.

Due to alcohol also being present in products such as mouthwashes, the researchers set a cut off meconium EtG level that has previously reflected two alcoholic drinks a month.


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