Prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco and coffee: Associated congenital complications and adverse birth outcomes

Sarah Soyeon Oh, Sunwha Park, Young Ah You, Yongho Jee, Abuzar Ansari, Soo Min Kim, Gain Lee, Young Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A few studies to date have examined the association between prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and coffee, and congenital complications/adverse birth outcomes among South Korean populations. Thus, this study analyzed the data of 1675 Korean women with birth experience within the last 3 years for pregnancy-related health and nutritional behaviors and relative outcomes. During their pregnancies, 11.58% of the study population consumed alcohol at least once, 1.43% drank throughout all three trimesters, 1.13% smoked, 25.43% were exposed to secondhand smoking, and 28.18% consumed 3 coffees or more every day. Prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with 11.24 times increased risk of birth defects/disabilities [Odds Ratio (OR): 11.24, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.07–117.86] and 10.66 times increased risk of inherited metabolic diseases (OR: 10.66, 95% CI: 1.08–104.82). Prenatal secondhand smoke exposure (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.01–2.62) and coffee consumption (OR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.22–3.03) was associated with increased risk of low birth weight. Such results were in alignment with that of previous studies and confirmed that prenatal alcohol, tobacco, and coffee exposure can have detrimental neonatal and maternal consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3140
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2020R1A2C3011850) and BK21 Four (Fostering Outstanding Universities for Research), funded by the Ministry of Education and NRF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adverse birth outcomes
  • Birth complications
  • Fetal programming
  • Maternal malnutrition
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure
  • Prenatal tobacco exposure


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