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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Disorders Plague Children Whose Mother Consumed Alcohol

Women who drink alcohol when they are pregnant put their child at extreme risk. Life debilitating disorders plague children whose mother consumed alcohol while pregnant; children are born every day who will have or develop behavioral health problems and/or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Doctors and scientists are still puzzling over the different problems that can develop and studies are uncovering connections previously thought to not have existed. One such study recently claimed that women who drink alcohol while pregnant elevate the chance that their child will develop a rare type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. Researchers found that drinking alcohol during pregnancy was associated with a 56 percent increased risk of AML in children.

Doctors know very little about the causes of leukemia in children, AML is rare with only about 700 cases diagnosed each year. According to Reuters, "researchers suspect it may be an interaction between genes and the environment, including drinking alcohol, Dr. Paule Latino-Martel of the Research Center for Human Nutrition in France and colleagues note in a report published online today".

Researchers analyzed 21 previous studies that dealt with the drinking habits of women while pregnant and childhood leukemia, their findings showed a 56 percent increased risk of childhood AML for those women who drank while pregnant. Childhood AML is rare disease and researchers believe that there are a number of possible contributing factors. If half of the women who drank while pregnant had children who developed AML, there would be a lot of AML cases - that simply not the case.

"Despite the recommendation that women abstain from alcohol while pregnant, it's estimated that 60 percent of Russian women drink while pregnant, as do 59 percent of their Australian counterparts. Fifty-two percent of French women, 30 percent of Swedish women and 12 percent of American women drink while pregnant, according to estimates", reported Reuters. AML is just another terrible byproduct we can add to alcohol's list along with fetal alcohol syndrome and potential for addiction problems developing down the road, as researchers continue to uncover the true scope of the damage caused by drugs and alcohol.

The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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