BACKGROUND: Little is known about maternal alcohol intake in early pregnancy and the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children beyond 5 years of age. We examined the association between alcohol binge drinking and weekly alcohol intake in early pregnancy and the risk of ADHD in children followed from birth to 19 years of age.
METHODS: We included 48,072 children born between 1998 and 2012, whose mothers participated in the Aarhus Birth Cohort. Maternal alcohol intake was obtained from a self-administered questionnaire completed in early pregnancy. ADHD diagnoses were retrieved from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register and the Danish National Patient Register. Crude hazard ratio and adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of ADHD according to alcohol binge drinking or weekly intake of alcohol were calculated using the Cox regression.
RESULTS: Compared to children of women with no binge drinking episodes, we observed an aHR for ADHD of 0.91 (95% CI 0.76 to 1.08), 0.73 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.96), and 0.77 (95% CI 0.57 to 1.06) among children of women reporting 1, 2, and 3 or more binge drinking episodes, respectively. Among children of women drinking <1 drink per week, 1 drink per week, 2 drinks per week, and 3 or more drinks per week, we observed an aHR for ADHD of 0.87 (95% CI 0.74 to 1.03), 0.63 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.98), 1.30 (95% CI 0.89 to 1.92), and 0.78 (95% CI 0.38 to 1.59), respectively, when compared to children of women not drinking on a weekly basis.
CONCLUSION: We found no evidence that binge drinking or low alcohol intake in early pregnancy was associated with the risk of ADHD in children.