Researchers at the California Teratogen Information Service Pregnancy Health Information Line -- a state non-profit organization based at the University of California, San Diego -- used data from its toll-free service offering information about alcohol exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The study involved 992 California women who contacted the information line from 1978 to 2005 with questions about a wide variety of exposures and, after being counseled, agreed to participate in a follow-up study of their pregnancy outcome.
The results, published online ahead the April print edition of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found every pattern of higher prenatal alcohol consumption -- no matter the timing in pregnancy -- was associated with an increased risk of having an underweight infant or reduced birth length.
"For every one drink increase in the average number of drinks consumed daily, there was a 25 percent increased risk for smooth upper lip, a 22 percent increased risk for thin red portion of the upper lip border, a 12 percent increased risk for small head size," said lead author Haruna Sawada Feldman, postdoctoral student at UCSD.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Puzzle-maker slips 'Murdoch Is Evil' into Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph