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Title: Balance ability in children aged 7 and 10 years and the effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on balance outcomes : a birth cohort study
Author: Humphriss, Rachel Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 3040
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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The balance ability of children in the population has not previously been well described. Moreover, little is known about maternal alcohol consumption as a risk factor for poor balance in children. Experimental evidence in animals and limited observational evidence in humans suggests an adverse effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on offspring balance. The balance ability of 7 and 10 year old children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) is described. A total of 6648 children completed a test of dynamic balance with eyes open at age 7; at age 10,6915 children underwent a test of dynamic balance with eyes open and tests of static balance with eyes open and closed. Static balance of 10 year old children was found to be poorer with eyes closed. Balance was found to be poorer in boys. Measures of static and dynamic balance appeared independent. All balance measures showed a significant degree of variability, with poor test-re test reliability. A systematic review of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on offspring balance outcomes found some evidence for an adverse effect, although interpretation of this evidence was limited by several methodological considerations. Data from ALSP AC were then analysed using logistic regression. Some categories of higher maternal alcohol consumption were associated with social advantage. No evidence was found for an adverse effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on the balance outcomes. However, with certain exposure- outcome combinations, evidence of a protective effect was found. Alternative epidemiological approaches were then used including maternal-paternal comparisons and Mendelian randomization: similar results were found for paternal alcohol exposure and no strong associations were found between an instrumental variable for lower maternal alcohol consumption and offspring balance. The apparently beneficial effects found in some analyses are most likely to reflect residual confounding by factors related to social position.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available