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Health & Fitness Aspiring fathers should 'stop drinking alcohol six months before conception' to protect against possible heart defects

09:35  03 october  2019
09:35  03 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The same study says moms-to-be should stop drinking one year before conception to avoid congenital heart defects in their baby. Compared to non- drinkers , fathers who drank during the three months before conception were 44% more likely to have babies born with congenital heart

Hopeful fathers should stop drinking alcohol for at least six months before trying for a baby to protect against congenital heart defects , research suggests. Mums-to-be who drank in the three months before conception or in the first three months of pregnancy were linked to a 16% higher

a hand holding a glass of beer on a table © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Aspiring fathers should stop drinking alcohol for at least six months before trying for a baby to protect against congenital heart defects, research has suggested.

Mothers-to-be should also aim to go teetotal for as much as a year in advance, according to scientists at China’s Xiangya School of Public Health.

The suggestion comes after a team analysed data from 55 studies published between 1991 and 2019 including 41,747 babies with congenital heart disease and 297,587 without.

  Aspiring fathers should 'stop drinking alcohol six months before conception' to protect against possible heart defects © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Avoiding alcohol

They found men drinking for the three months prior to pregnancy was associated with a 44 per cent higher risk of the disease developing.

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Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects . Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for fathers and 16% for

Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects , according to research Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for

Women drinking over the same period and in their first trimester was associated with a 16 per cent rise, said the study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Meanwhile binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks per sitting, was linked to a 52 per cent higher likelihood of these birth defects for men and 16 per cent for women.

In relation to specific defects, the team found that - compared to abstinence - maternal drinking was associated with a 20 per cent greater risk of Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four heart abnormalities.

Mothers-to-be should stop drinking as much as a year ahead of conception, the study suggested (Photo:Y ui Mok/PA)

“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 Dr Jiabi Qin.

Women have long been advised to take folic acid ahead of pregnancy... but new research suggests hopeful fathers should do the same

Women have long been advised to take folic acid ahead of pregnancy... but new research suggests hopeful fathers should do the same New research from Harvard Medical School in the U.S. and Navarra University in Spain suggests that men with higher levels of the vitamin have healthier babies. The study’s U.S. and Spanish authors said their finding was ‘of great importance’ and could lead to men, as well as women, being advised to improve their diet ahead of trying to start a family. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Women have long been advised to take folic acid ahead of pregnancy but should prospective fathers do the same? Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate or vitamin B9, and helps make healthy red blood cells.

Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy (and during the first trimester for mothers) was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for Dr Qin said the results suggest that when couples are trying for a baby, men should not consume alcohol for at least six months before

Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects , according to research Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for

“We observed a gradually rising risk of congenital heart diseases as parental alcohol consumption increased.”

More research needed

He said the results suggested that when couples try for a baby, men should avoid alcohol for six months before fertilisation and women for a whole year.

However, the study noted its findings were observational and did not prove a causal effect nor that paternal drinking is more harmful than maternal to foetal hearts.

“The underlying mechanisms connecting parental alcohol and congenital heart diseases are uncertain and warrant further research,” Dr Qin added.

“Although our analysis has limitations - for example the type of alcohol was not recorded - it does indicate that men and women planning a family should give up alcohol.”

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