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Preconception alcohol consumption and risk of miscarriage in over 4.5 million Chinese women aged 20–49 years
  1. Jian Chai1,2,
  2. Tonglei Guo2,3,
  3. Yuzhi Deng2,4,
  4. Lifang Jiang1,
  5. Junxi Zhang1,
  6. Qin Xu2,4,
  7. Zuoqi Peng2,5,
  8. Yuan He2,4,5,
  9. Yuanyuan Wang2,5,
  10. Ya Zhang2,5,
  11. Hongguang Zhang2,5,
  12. Qiaomei Wang6,
  13. Haiping Shen6,
  14. Yiping Zhang6,
  15. Donghai Yan6,
  16. Ying Yang2,4,5,
  17. Xu Ma2,4,5
  1. 1 Henan Provincial Research Institute of Population and Family Planning, National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Birth Defects Prevention, Henan Key Laboratory of Population Defects Prevention, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
  2. 2 National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China
  3. 3 Hebei Medical University School of Public Health, Shijiazhuang, China
  4. 4 Peking Union Medical College Graduate School, Beijing, China
  5. 5 National Human Genetic Resources Center, Beijing, China
  6. 6 Department of Maternal and Child Health, National Health Commission of the PRC, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ying Yang, National Research Institute for Family Planning, No.12 Dahuisi Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China; angela-yy65{at}; Professor Xu Ma, National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China; nfpcc_ma{at}


Objective To assess the impact of preconception alcohol consumption on risk of miscarriage incidence, and further evaluate the association between maternal periconception drinking abstinence and miscarriage.

Methods We performed a population-based, retrospective cohort study in China between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2016. Alcohol intake and potential confounding factors were reported in standard questionnaires. Participants who became pregnant were recontacted for pregnancy outcome information within 1 year. A total 4 531 680 women with available data on preconception alcohol intake and miscarriage were included in the final analyses. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).

Results The prevalence of miscarriage was 2.70% among 4 531 680 women. Compared with non-drinkers, the adjusted OR of miscarriage was 1.06 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.10) and 1.59 (95% CI 1.15 to 2.20) in maternal occasional drinkers and regular drinkers, respectively. Compared with couples in which neither the male nor the female consumed alcohol, the adjusted OR for miscarriage among women was 1.09 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.10), 1.13 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.21) and 1.12 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.17) in the couples in which only the female drank alcohol, only the male drank alcohol, and both drank alcohol, respectively. The adjusted OR was 0.58 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.65) in women with alcohol abstinence compared with alcohol drinkers.

Conclusions Preconception alcohol consumption was associated with higher odds of miscarriage, and an increasing risk was found with paternal and maternal alcohol drinking. Periconception alcohol abstinence was inversely associated with miscarriage.

  • abortion
  • spontaneous
  • epidemiology
  • reproductive health

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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  • JC, TG and YD are joint first authors.

  • Contributors YY and XM conceived the study, provided overall guidance and revised the manuscript. JC, TG and YY have full access to data in the study and take responsibility for data integrity and the accuracy of data analysis. JC and YY designed and supervised the study. TG and QX led the data collection. TG analysed the data and interpreted the results. TG and YD searched the literature and drafted the manuscript. LJ, JZ, ZP, YH, YW, YaZ, HZ, QW, HS, YipingZ and DY collected the data. YD, TG and YY revised the manuscript. All authors contributed to the critical revisions of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Programme of China (No. 2016YFC1000307) and the CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (No. 2018-I2M-1–004).

  • Disclaimer The sponsors had no role in the study design, data analysis, data interpretation, writing of the report or the decision to submit the report for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.