Objective: To determine if preeclampsia was associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Design: A case-control study. Setting: North Carolina Memorial Hospital during January 1984 through March 1987. Patients: 110 Caucasian and African-American primiparous preeclamptic women and 115 Caucasian and African-American primiparous healthy women. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported history of alcohol during lifetime and pregnancy; type of alcohol consumed. Results: Alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with preeclampsia, although there was a suggestion of a protective effect while simultaneously adjusting for a family history of preeclampsia; maternal smoking, medication, and recreational drug use during pregnancy; working during pregnancy; and choice of a contraceptive method (barrier versus nonbarrier) with the partner before the index pregnancy (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.17-1.50). The odds ratio remained unchanged when lifetime smokers (OR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.08-1.67) or smokers during pregnancy (OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.11-1.60) were excluded from the analysis. Conclusions: Although only a few cases and controls consumed alcohol throughout their pregnancies, alcohol did not appear to increase the risk of preeclampsia.
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