Skip to main content

The development and application of innovative biostatistical methodology for the study of prenatal alcohol exposure and its effect on cognitive and behavioural deficits in children

Project Member(s): Ryan, L.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Start year: 2022

Summary: This research is directed at the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on neuro-cognitive, behavioural and physical features, and growth patterns in individuals from infancy to young adulthood. The assemblage of individual level data from six birth cohorts which took place as part of the 2017 NIH R01 grant to co-Applicants J and S Jacobson means we are in a unique and exciting position to conduct rigorous analysis to ensure important insights into the causal effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, often arising due to the mother's addiction, as well as the most sensitive cognitive and behavioural outcomes to this exposure. While it is now widely known that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is harmful, it remains a world-wide problem. In a recent review, Di Pietro and Illes (2014) noted that the percentage of First Nations women who reported drinking during pregnancy ranged from 24% to 61% and estimates of fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD) in this population range from 0.28% to 19%; the prevalence of 20% is reported in endemic international locations such as Cape Town, South Africa. The insights to be gained from our planned research will advance scientific understanding and facilitate early diagnosis so that interventions can be administered to optimize cognitive outcomes and help mitigate behavioural problems from affected young adults in high risk populations such as these. Di Pietro NC and Illes J (2014). Disparities in Canadian indigenous health research on neuro-developmental disorders. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 35(1), 74-81.

FOR Codes: Neonatal and child health, Applied statistics , Biostatistics