Luan, M., Zhang, X., Fang, G. et al. Preconceptional paternal alcohol consumption and the risk of child behavioral problems: a prospective cohort study. Sci Rep 12, 1508 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-05611-2
Animal studies demonstrated that paternal alcohol exposure before conception increases the risk of adverse neurodevelopment in offspring, but limited evidence is known in humans. Based on Shanghai-Minhang Birth Cohort Study, we aimed to examine associations between preconceptional paternal alcohol consumption and child behavioral problems.
Paternal alcohol consumption during the last 3 months before conception was obtained by maternal report. Children born to fathers who drank alcohol at least once a week were classified as exposed. Child behavioral problems were assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at age of 2, 4, and 6. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the rate ratio (RR) of CBCL raw scores in 796 offspring.
The risks of rating scores on anxious/depressed were increased by 33% (RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.09, 1.61) and 37% (RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.02, 1.84) among boys in the exposed group at age of 4 and 6, respectively. We also found that risks of somatic complaints were increased by 18% (RR 1.18, 95%CI 1.00, 1.40) and 65% (RR 1.65, 95%CI 1.14, 2.38) among girls in the exposed group at age of 4 and 6. The increased risks of sleep problems (RR 1.25, 95% CI 1.00, 1.55) in girls at age 4, thought problems (RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.01, 1.73) in girls at age 6, rule-breaking behaviors (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.09, 1.67) in boys at age 6 were also found. The risks of CBCL scores on anxious/depressed and sleep problems in girls at age 4, as well as the risks of somatic complaints and rule-breaking behaviors in boys at age 6 increased with the level of exposure to paternal alcohol consumption.
Our findings provided preliminary evidence that preconceptional paternal alcohol consumption may increase risks of child behavioral problems.
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