According to a new study by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, men who want to have a child should avoid drinking alcohol at least six months before conception.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is highly undesirable for women, and numerous studies have been conducted to this end. However, the same has never been analyzed in detail for men because any consequences for the child are objectively less obvious and clear.
However, as Jiabi Qin, a researcher at Changsha Central South University in China, points out, drinking alcohol before conception, even a few months earlier, represents a “high risk and dangerous behavior.” In the researcher’s view, alcohol can actually increase the risk of heart defects in an unborn child, apart from the harm that the same alcohol can cause to the health of the father.
In the researcher’s opinion, men should not drink alcohol at least six months before conception, and women should refrain from drinking it for a year before conception and during pregnancy.
Alcohol is considered teratogenic; it may cause abnormalities or deformations in the human embryo. For example, it is associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which can lead to congenital heart disease.
This study used data from 55 other studies concerning 41,747 children with congenital heart disease and 297,587 children without it. The researchers noted a gradual increase in the risk of congenital heart disease in children associated with increased alcohol consumption by parents.
Qin himself acknowledges that further research is needed to better understand the relationship between parental alcohol and heart disease in children, but in any case, the advice to stop drinking alcohol before conception remains valid.
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