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Fetal exposure to cocaine, tobacco or marijuana is not associated with lower academic achievement in children, a new study suggests. However, fetal exposure to alcohol in children with no evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome does lead to lower scores in math reasoning and spelling at age 11.

Researchers at Boston University looked at academic achievement scores from 119 low-income 11-year-olds who were enrolled in a study on prenatal cocaine exposure, HealthDay reports.

“Study findings suggest the children with histories of even low-level [intrauterine exposure to alcohol] who experience school difficulties should be evaluated particularly for arithmetic skills and depressive symptoms and offered enhanced educational methods [and] interventions tailored to their needs,” study author Ruth Rose-Jacobs said in a university news release.

The study is published in Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies.


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