Birth Outcomes, Lifetime Alcohol Dependence and Cognition in Middle Adulthood*Corresponding Author:
Received Date: Sep 26, 2010 / Accepted Date: Sep 28, 2010 / Published Date: Sep 29, 2010
Citation: Caspers KM, Arndt S (2010) Birth Outcomes, Lifetime Alcohol Dependence and Cognition in Middle Adulthood. J Addict Res Ther 1:102.DOI: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000102
Copyright: © 2010 Caspers KM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol is associated with cognitive abnormalities that persist throughout the lifespan and are also often a focus of studies examining cognitive outcomes associated with excessive alcohol use by an individual. This study examined the effect of birth outcomes consistent with fetal alcohol exposure on associations between lifetime alcohol dependence and cognition in middle adulthood. The sample was comprised of 315 adult adoptees ranging in age from 31 to 64 years ( SD = 7.20). Facial morphology, pre-morbid cognition, and current cognition were assessed. Birth parent behaviors and birth outcomes (e.g., birthweight, gestational age) were obtained from adoption agency records. Lifetime alcohol dependence was determined from the Semi-Structured Assessment of the Genetics of Alcoholism – II. Univariate associations showed signi fi cantly poorer pre-morbid and current cognition when birth parent problems, short palpebral fi ssures, and thin upper lips were present. Lifetime alcohol dependence was associated with lower perceptional organization, processing speed and working memory. Multivariate analyses demonstrated continued signi fi cance suggesting unique contributions of each to cognition. Evaluating the possible role of fetal alcohol exposure within studies on alcoholism can only further improve the treatment and prevention of alcohol-related problems by isolating those cognitive outcomes uniquely attributable to an individual’s consumption of alcohol.