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Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6167-6178; doi:10.3390/nu7085278

Alcohol and Difficulty Conceiving in the SUN Cohort: A Nested Case-Control Study

Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, 31008 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, 02115 Boston, MA, USA
Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, 02115 Boston, MA, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 27 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [273 KB, uploaded 27 July 2015]   |  


The role of alcohol on fertility remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between alcohol and specific alcoholic beverages consumption and the risk of difficulty getting pregnant. We used a case-control study nested within the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort, a prospective, dynamic and multipurpose cohort of 21,705 Spanish university graduates, followed biennially with mailed questionnaires. We identified 686 case-control pairs, matched for age and time in the cohort. Cases were women reporting difficulty getting pregnant. Controls did not consult due to difficulty conceiving and had at least one child during follow-up. After adjustment for potential confounders, we found no association between self-reported difficulty getting pregnant and the number of alcoholic beverages consumed per week, (Odds Ratio [OR] > 5 drinks/week vs. none = 1.04, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.72–1.51). No association between types of alcoholic beverage and difficulty conceiving (OR > 5 drinks of wine/week vs. none = 1.16, 95% CI = 0.72–1.88; OR > 5 drinks of beer/week vs. none = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.82–1.37; OR > 5 drinks of spirits/week vs. none = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.84–1.64) was observed. In conclusion, we found no association between alcohol intake and risk of consulting a physician due to difficulty conceiving. More studies are needed to clearly elucidate the effects of alcohol intake on women’s fertility. In the meantime, recommendations about alcohol intake to couples trying to conceive have to be given cautiously. View Full-Text
Keywords: fertility; nested case-control study; diet; alcohol; wine; beer fertility; nested case-control study; diet; alcohol; wine; beer

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Burgo, C.L.-D.; Gea, A.; de Irala, J.; Martínez-González, M.A.; Chavarro, J.E.; Toledo, E. Alcohol and Difficulty Conceiving in the SUN Cohort: A Nested Case-Control Study. Nutrients 2015, 7, 6167-6178.

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