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Paternal drinking and its damaging effects on children


An overview report on alcohol, pregnancy and infants’ health that focuses on fathers’, as well as mothers’, drinking habits is now attracting widespread attention in the media and because of a seminar in the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament). A general presentation of the report is given below.

This recent overview of international and Swedish research in the field is the work an international research group supported by a wide-ranging set of organizations including the Swedish Association of General Practice (SFAM), the Swedish Society of Nursing, IOGT-NTO Sweden as well as the Center for Education and Research on Addiction (CERA) at the University of Gothenburg.

One of the authors is Frida Dangardt, Associate Professor in Clinical Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and doctor at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, part of Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg.

She comments: “Men’s alcohol consumption before fertilization can affect the child’s birth weight and may increase the risk of acute lymphatic leukemia and congenital heart defects.”

One purpose of the report is to give prominence to parenthood and parents’ relationship with alcohol as a shared responsibility and a key gender equality issue, as the foreword states. It also points out the vital importance of all those involved being knowledgeable about the potential risks of alcohol, so as to be able to take informed decisions.

The report covers research on alcohol’s damaging effects as such and also describes alcohol-related risks of, for example, increased partner violence, as well as such topics as attitudes toward alcohol, parenthood, prevention, and costs to society.

Overview Report: Andreasson S, Chikritzhs T, Dangardt F, Holder H, Naimi T, Stockwell T. (2020). Alcohol and Society 2020: Alcohol, pregnancy and infant health – a shared responsibility. Stockholm: Swedish Society of Nursing, SFAM, SAFF, CERA & IOGT-NTO

About CERA: Center for Education and Research on Addiction

Contact: Frida Dangardt

Images: The report on alcohol, pregnancy and infant health, and headshot of Frida Dangardt (photo: Johan Wingborg)