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Specific guide to this web site for:

 1.  Medical School
      in Statistics

 2.  Medical Students

 3.  Science media writers

 4.  High School & College
     Statistic Teachers


1. Harvard led MI study

2. JACC study 

   (J. of Amer. Coll.

3. NEJM cath study

4. Amer. J. of Cardio.
    review of literature


Oat bran study

Pregnancy & Alcohol

Are Geminis really
9. Columbia 'Miracle' Study  

Additional Topics:


Limitations of Meta-Analyses

Large Randomized Clinical Trials

Tale of Two Large

Advocate meta-analyses

Network meta-analyses




A Look at Several Studies in the Epidemiology Literature Regarding the Effects of Low Level Alcohol Ingestion during Pregnancy in Nonsmokers

Disclaimer: This site does not recommend that pregnant women drink alcohol.       details

Analysis of today's women would lead to inaccurate findings:

Why analysis of contemporary women and alcohol ingestion regarding pregnancy outcome would not give as reliable of results as studies of women from previous decades.

(Includes a discussion of the limitations of epidemiologic studies).

 Low level alcohol ingestion and pregnancy:

Popular public perception has changed during the past 25 years to the idea that ingesting even very low levels of alcohol during pregnancy (including nonsmokers) is detrimental to the developing fetus.  However, the  data from several published medical studies from which this perception was derived suggests that the current recommendations may be less well founded than has been assumed.

Introduction:  A direct review of the data in a JAMA study1 suggests that a low level alcohol intake in nonsmokers did not significantly adversely affect infant birth weight.     (Introduction)

Alcohol intake               Mean         
(Nonsmokers)                 Birth Weigh
                    3,468 534(S.D.)
<1                           3,500 527
                3,452 582
>3                          3,138 512
JAMA study1   (details)

A letter was written, published in JAMA, proposing an alternative interpretation: 

Further analysis: details

A second study critiqued:
A different study that examined alcohol ingestion in smokers and nonsmokers committed the serious error of miscounting data regarding the primary outcome (the number of mothers with low birth weight infants).   

Subsequent meta-analysis:
A subsequent meta-analysis of alcohol consumption during pregnancy  suggested that low level alcohol consumption in nonsmokers was not associated with decreased birth weights during pregnancy.

What will be the status of information regarding this topic 10 years from now?          details

Final Assessment:    Conclusions

1. Mills JL, Graubard BI, Harley EE, et al.  Maternal alcohol consumption and birth weight: How much drinking during pregnancy is safe? JAMA 1984:252:1875-1879



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