To the Editor: O’Leary and colleagues1 rightly point to the need for better evidence on whether low to moderate maternal alcohol intake affects the fetus. Evidence to date is weak and inconsistent, largely because alcohol consumption in pregnancy is generally poorly documented,2 and few studies have recorded data on factors that could potentially modify fetal exposure. Evidence could come from large pregnancy cohort studies, usually designed to address other issues, but there are no published guidelines on how to collect information relevant to fetal alcohol exposure during gestation. There is, therefore, a great need to define a core dataset for research studies, as well as one that is sufficiently simple to use in routine pregnancy care settings.
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