Maternal periconceptional alcohol consumption and gastroschisis in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997–2011

the National Birth Defects Prevention Study

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4 Scopus citations


Background: Gastroschisis is particularly prevalent among offspring of young women and has increased over recent decades. Although previous studies suggest that maternal alcohol consumption is associated with increased gastroschisis risk, none have explored whether maternal age modifies that association. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate associations between self-reported maternal periconceptional alcohol consumption (1 month prior through the third month after conception) and risk of gastroschisis among offspring, by maternal age. Methods: We used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a multi-site population-based case-control study. The analysis included 1450 gastroschisis cases and 11,829 unaffected liveborn controls delivered during 1997–2011 in ten US states. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the individual and joint effects of alcohol consumption and young maternal age at delivery (<25 years vs ≥25 years) on gastroschisis risk. We estimated the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) to quantify additive interaction. Results: Periconceptional alcohol consumption was common regardless of maternal age (women <25 years: cases 38.8%, controls 29.3%; women ≥25: cases 43.5%, controls 39.5%). Compared with women ≥25 years who did not consume alcohol, we observed increased risk of gastroschisis among women <25 years, with higher estimates among those who consumed alcohol (women <25 years who did not consume alcohol. aOR 5.90, 95% CI 4.89, 7.11; women <25 years who did consume alcohol: aOR 8.21, 95% CI 6.69, 10.07). Alcohol consumption among women ≥25 years was not associated with gastroschisis (aOR 1.12, 95% CI 0.88, 1.42). This suggests super-additive interaction between alcohol consumption and maternal age (RERI −2.19, 95% CI 1.02, 3.36). Conclusions: Periconceptional alcohol consumption may disproportionately increase risk of gastroschisis among young mothers. Our findings support public health recommendations to abstain from alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-791
Number of pages10
JournalPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • additive interaction
  • alcohol
  • gastroschisis
  • pregnancy


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