Table 7

Odds of child behaviour problems in 2-, 5- and 8-year-old children following prenatal alcohol exposure: comparison of estimates of maternal alcohol consumption

Adjusted OR (95% CI)
First trimesterLate pregnancy
Prenatal alcoholAnxiety/depressionSomaticAggressiveAnxiety/depressionSomaticAggressive
Abstinent throughout pregnancy*1.001.001.001.001.001.00
Composite method
 Low1.06 (0.59 to 1.88)0.82 (0.55 to 1.22)0.98 (0.52 to 1.82)1.21 (0.72 to 2.02)0.82 (0.56 to 1.19)1.06 (0.59 to 1.92)
 Moderate2.24 (1.16 to 4.34)1.07 (0.61 to 1.88)1.06 (0.49 to 2.28)1.52 (0.72 to 3.19)1.08 (0.63 to 1.86)1.93 (0.91 to 4.09)
 Heavy2.82 (1.07 to 7.43)2.74 (1.47 to 5.12)1.92 (0.74 to 5.01)0.43 (0.06 to 3.28)1.82 (0.79 to 4.17)2.92 (0.85 to 10.09)
Method 1: averaged within trimesters
 <1 std drink/day1.35 (0.82 to 2.23)0.87 (0.60 to 1.27)0.99 (0.56 to 1.76)1.29 (0.80 to 2.08)0.87 (0.61 to 1.24)1.27 (0.73 to 2.20)
 1+ std drink/day2.87 (0.98 to 8.35)3.36 (1.80 to 6.26)2.27 (0.84 to 6.17)2.15 (0.96 to 4.80)2.29 (0.56 to 9.37)
Method 2: averaged across pregnancy)(Trimesters do not apply(Trimesters do not apply)
 <1 std drink/day1.20 (0.76 to 1.90)0.86 (0.61 to 1.21)1.15 (0.69 to 1.93)
 1+ std drink/day1.74 (0.45 to 6.73)3.60 (1.81 to 7.17)2.69 (0.79 to 9.21)
Method 3: grams per/week (g)First trimesterLate pregnancy
 0.1–121.32 (0.78 to 2.26)0.79 (0.53 to 1.19)1.04 (0.57 to 1.89)1.27 (0.77 to 2.10)0.90 (0.63 to 1.30)1.36 (0.78 to 2.39)
 12.1–241.52 (0.60 to 3.86)0.91 (0.45 to 1.86)0.83 (0.26 to 2.67)1.16 (0.42 to 3.22)0.42 (0.18 to 1.01)0.79 (0.24 to 2.62)
 24.1–481.29 (0.37 to 4.53)2.10 (1.04 to 4.25)0.90 (0.20 to 4.11)1.37 (0.49 to 3.78)1.22 (0.61 to 2.45)0.62 (0.12 to 3.30)
 48.1+2.36 (0.99 to 5.61)2.15 (1.16 to 4.00)1.67 (0.67 to 4.17)0.67 (0.17 to 2.72)1.80 (0.83 to 3.92)2.37 (0.79 to 7.09)
  • * Referent group for each analysis.

  • Standard drink=10 g alcohol.

  • Adjusted for antenatal covariates (maternal age, marital status, parity, ethnicity, income, maternal smoking and use of illicit drugs, tranquilisers and sleeping tablets during pregnancy) and postnatal covariates collected at each follow-up (marital status, income, treatment for postnatal depression, postnatal depression (Beck Depression Inventory),30 family functioning (McMaster Family Assessment Device),27 parenting style (Parenting Scale),26 tension in the family due to alcohol and maternal depression, anxiety and stress collected at the year 2 survey (Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale)24 25).