Nine hundred and seventy-three white women attending an antenatal clinic completed a questionnaire on parity, social class, smoking habits, and consumption of alcohol and coffee. Forty-nine per cent said they were non-drinkers and none of their babies had a major congenital abnormalities; whereas 1.2% of the babies of the women who did consume alcohol had major abnormalities. The babies of women who said they drank more than an average of 20 ml alcohol a day had significantly smaller head circumferences than the babies of non-drinkers in some gestational age groups. Maternal serum gamma-glutamyltransferase levels predicted abnormal fetal outcome in the 3 women in whom they were raised. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption in pregnancy and even moderate 'social' drinking is associated with abnormal fetal outcome.
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