Women have long been told to stop drinking if they are pregnant or believe they may become pregnant.
But a new study suggests that men who expect to become fathers should also stay away from alcohol for at least six months before trying to get pregnant.
If mothers and prospective parents drank in the three months prior to pregnancy, and if the mother drank during the first trimester of pregnancy, they are at risk of having a child with congenital heart disease. Drinking men increases the risk by 44%, women by 16%.
Drinking wine, which is five or more drinks at a time, increases the risk of men by 52%, women, 16%.
“Excessive alcohol consumption by prospective parents poses a high-risk and dangerous behavior that can not only increase the chances of having a baby with a heart defect, but also damage your health,” said Dr. Jiayin, one of the study authors. Researcher, School of Public Health, South Central University, Changsha, China.
The study does not prove that drinking causes heart defects, but only has a relationship.
For the new study, the researchers analyzed 55 published studies, which included about 42,000 babies with congenital heart disease and nearly 298,000 don.
“We have noticed that the risk of congenital heart disease gradually increases as the parents’ alcohol consumption increases. The relationship was not statistically significant in low amounts,” Qin said in a press release from the European Heart Association.
Compared to not drinking, maternal alcohol consumption was also associated with a 20% higher risk for the baby born with a combination of four structural cardiac abnormalities known as tetraplegia in Valot.
More than one million babies are born every year with heart defects. These cases are the leading cause of infant death and increase the likelihood of future heart disease.
“Although our analysis has limitations, for example, the type of alcohol has not been recorded, it suggests that men and women planning a family should quit alcohol,” said Qin.