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Mothers’ Alcohol Consumption Before and During Pregnancy is Linked to Changes in Children’s Face Shapes

20th February, 2023

[Science Daily]

Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technology to find a link between alterations in the shape of children’s faces and the amount of alcohol their mothers drank, both before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy.

The study, which is published today (Thursday) in Human Reproduction, one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals, is the first to detect this association in the children of mothers who drank alcohol up to three months before becoming pregnant but stopped during pregnancy. In addition, it found the association with altered face shape existed even if mothers drank less than 12g of alcohol a week — the equivalent of a small, 175 ml glass of wine or 330ml of beer.

The finding is important because the shape of children’s faces can be an indication of health and developmental problems.

Gennady Roshchupkin, assistant professor and leader of the computational population biology group at Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, who led the study, said: “I would call the face a ‘health mirror’ as it reflects the overall health of a child. A child’s exposure to alcohol before birth can have significant adverse effects on its health development and, if a mother regularly drinks a large amount, this can result in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, FASD, which is reflected in children’s faces.”

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

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