Low-level alcohol use increases miscarriage risk

Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy—even in small amounts—have a 19 percent greater risk of miscarriage than women who don't use alcohol, according to a new study by Vanderbilt researchers.


Published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the study also found that for alcohol exposure of less than five drinks per week, each additional drink per week during pregnancy was associated with a 6 percent increase in miscarriage risk.


"Since alcohol is one of the most common exposures in early pregnancy, it's critical to understand how consumption relates to miscarriage," said Alex Sundermann, an MD/Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the study's lead investigator. "Adverse pregnancy outcomes, like fetal alcohol syndrome, are often associated in popular culture with heavy consumption.