Is prematurity a part of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder?

Beth A. Bailey, Robert J. Sokol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Since fetal alcohol syndrome was first reported, studies have demonstrated a range of perinatal/developmental abnormalities that fall under the umbrella term fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Of these, low birth weight in exposed children is among the most commonly observed and widely accepted. However, in the past, assertion of an association between prenatal alcohol exposure and preterm birth was controversial. Methodological difficulties may have contributed to failure to consistently detect such a relationship. However, new evidence suggests that pregnancy drinking may be a major contributor to extreme, but not mild prematurity. Extreme prematurity is a major cause of severe perinatal morbidity and mortality. If recent findings are confirmed, it suggests that extreme prematurity might be reduced by eliminating prenatal alcohol exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Alcohol assessment
  • Extreme prematurity
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Gestational age dating
  • Prenatal alcohol
  • Preterm birth


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