Men should quit drinking six months before conception to protect baby

Men should quit drinking six months before conception to protect baby

By / Health / Sunday, 06 October 2019 06:12

Men should avoid consuming alcohol for six months before trying for a baby to ensure that their child has a healthy heart, according to the first large-scale analysis to examine the role of paternal drinking.

The research, published on Thursday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that fathers drinking three months before conception increased the risk of congenital heart disease in babies by 44 per cent, while this risk was 16 per cent for mothers, compared to not drinking.

There was a 52 per cent higher likelihood of these birth defects if fathers indulged in binge drinking defined as five or more drinks per sitting while this risk was 16 per cent for mothers, researchers said.

“Binge drinking by would-be parents is a high risk and dangerous behaviour that not only may increase the chance of their baby being born with a heart defect, but also greatly damages their own health,” said study author Jiabi Qin, from Central South University in China.

These conditions can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease later in life, even after surgical treatment, and are the main cause of prenatal death.

Alcohol is a known teratogen which causes malformation of an embryo and has been connected with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, researchers said.

Author

Hum Hindustani

Hum Hindustani

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