The effect of increased alcohol availability on alcohol-related health problems up to the age of 42 among children exposed in utero: A natural experiment

Emelie Thern*, David Carslake, George Davey Smith, Per Tynelius, Finn Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim: To examine whether exposure to increased alcohol availability in utero is associated with later alcohol-related health problems. Method: Register-linked population-based longitudinal study using data from a natural experiment setting, including 363 286 children born 1965-71. An experimental alcohol policy change was piloted in two regions of Sweden in 1967-68, where access to strong beer increased for 16-20 year old. Children exposed in utero to the policy change were compared to children born elsewhere in Sweden (excluding a border area), and to children born before and after the policy change. The outcome was obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Register using the Swedish index of alcohol-related inpatient care. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by Cox regression analysis. Results: The results suggest that children conceived by young mothers prior to the policy change but exposed to it in utero had a slightly increased risk of alcohol-related health problems later in life (HR 1.26, 95% CI 0.94-1.68). A tendency towards an inverse association was found among children conceived by older mothers (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.74-1.06). Conclusion: Results obtained from a natural experiment setting found no consistent evidence of long-term health consequences among children exposed in utero to an alcohol policy change. Some evidence however suggested an increased risk of alcohol-related health problems among the exposed children of young mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberagx069
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume53
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Natural experiment
  • Alcohol policy
  • Alcohol availability
  • Fetal alcohol exposure
  • Alcohol-related health problems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of increased alcohol availability on alcohol-related health problems up to the age of 42 among children exposed in utero: A natural experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this