Woman pregnant

UNITED STATES - The risk of neurological damage to a fetus when a woman drinks during pregnancy is not solely dependent on how much or when a mother drinks during pregnancy, but also on the fetus’ genetics, according to a study published today in Advances of Pediatric Research.

In the study, genetically non-identical twin pairs (e.g., fraternal twins) that had identical alcohol exposures often had different fetal alcohol outcomes, noted Susan Astley Hemingway, lead author on the study and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“Sometimes the results were strikingly different, with one being born with severe fetal alcohol syndrome while the other was only mildly affected,” she said. “Given that, the only safe level of alcohol consumption for a mother during pregnancy is none at all.”

  • Release: Discussion of research on twins study and fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Downloadable video: Soundbites of Susan Astley Hemingway discussing her research.

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