Drinking mothers increase their unborn babies' risk of developing
acute myeloid leukemia (AML) says a study published in Cancer
Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention. Adding to the list of
reasons not to drink while pregnant, the increased risk of AML in
children between the ages of 0 and 4 was shown to increase in mothers
that self-reported consuming one drink per week.
The study also took into account the kind of alcohol consumed. The
risk remained the same regardless of the kind of alcohol. “The
recommendation not to drink alcohol during pregnancy concerns all types
of alcoholic beverages,” advises Dr. Paule Latino-Martel, the lead
researcher for the study.
The study found women who drank alcohol during the second and third
trimester showed an increased risk of AML developing in their babies.
The reason why in-utero exposure to alcohol may increase the risk of
AML in younger children is still unknown and requires further
investigation, the study noted.
AML, typically rare in children, is a rapidly progressing cancer of
the blood and bone marrow affecting the development of vital
life-giving red and white blood cells and platelets. AML patients
typically experience anemia, easy bleeding, higher risk of infection
and the danger of leukemia cells spreading to other organ systems in
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website states that treatment of
AML in children is less likely to bring about remission when under the
age of one. Treatment for leukemia in children can also have long-term
or late effects involving growth and development.