In-utero exposure to smoking, alcohol, coffee, and tea and risk of strabismus

Tobias Torp-Pedersen, Heather A. Boyd, Gry Poulsen, Birgitte Haargaard, Jan Wohlfahrt, Jonathan M. Holmes, Mads Melbye

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24 Scopus citations


In a prospective, population-based cohort study, the authors investigated the effect of in-utero exposure to maternal smoking and consumption of alcohol, coffee, and tea on the risk of strabismus. They reviewed medical records for children in the Danish National Birth Cohort identified through national registers as possibly having strabismus. Relative risk estimates were adjusted for year of birth, social class, maternal smoking, maternal age at birth, and maternal coffee and tea consumption. The authors identified 1,321 cases of strabismus in a cohort of 96,842 Danish children born between 1996 and 2003. Maternal smoking was associated with a significantly elevated risk of strabismus in the child, increasing with number of cigarettes smoked per day (<5 cigarettes/day: relative risk (RR) = 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.80, 1.14; 5-<10 cigarettes/day: RR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.70; ≥10 cigarettes/day: RR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.57, 2.30). Nicotine replacement therapy was not associated with strabismus risk (RR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.92, 1.61). Light maternal alcohol consumption was inversely associated with strabismus risk, whereas maternal coffee and tea drinking were not associated with strabismus risk. In conclusion, smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of strabismus in the offspring. Conversely, light alcohol consumption is associated with decreased risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-875
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Smoking
  • Strabismus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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