The general aim of the AQUA Study is to collect detailed information about alcohol consumption in pregnancy from nearly 1600 pregnant women to assess the effect that different doses of alcohol and other associated influences have on the unborn child. Data will be collected through questionnaires administered during each trimester of pregnancy. Data on other factors that could influence the effects of alcohol such as diet, medication and body size will also be collected. Women participating in the AQUA study will also complete a questionnaire about the health and development of their baby when their baby is 12 months old. Some participants will be invited to have a 3D photo of their baby’s face and head taken at 12 months of age, and a developmental assessment will be performed when the children are 2 years of age.

Study Summary
Study name Asking QUestions about Alcohol in pregnancy
Study abbreviation AQUA
Current principal investigator/s Prof Jane Halliday NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Public Health Genetics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), Melbourne
Dr Colleen O’Leary NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth
Prof Della Forster Research Fellow, Mother and Child Health Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne
A/Prof Susan Donath Research Fellow, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Unit, MCRI
A/Prof Peter Anderson NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Vic. Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS), MCRI, Melbourne
Dr Sharon Lewis Senior Research Officer, Public Health Genetics, MCRI, Melbourne
Prof Elizabeth Elliott Consultant Paediatrician, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
Dr Cate Nagle Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing & Behaviour, Deakin Univ., Geelong
Dr Jeffrey Craig Group Leader, Developmental Epigenetics, MCRI, Melbourne
Evelyne Muggli Senior Research Officer, Public Health Genetics, MCRI, Melbourne
Current project manager Evelyne Muggli
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth
La Trobe University, Melbourne
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
Deakin University, Geelong
Project Partner Maternity Hospitals Mercy Hospital for Women
Royal Women’s Hospital
Monash Medical Centre
Casey Hospital
Dandenong Hospital
Box Hill Hospital
Major funding sources NHMRC
McCusker Charitable Foundation
Brockhoff Foundation
Financial Markets for Children
Study website
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Muggli, E., O’Leary, C., Forster, D., Anderson, P., Lewis, S., Nagle, C., Craig, J.M., Donath, S., Elliott, E. and Halliday, J. (2014). Study protocol: Asking QUestions about Alcohol in pregnancy (AQUA): a longitudinal cohort study of fetal effects of low to moderate alcohol exposure. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 14: 302. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-302
Are data available to others outside study team? Not at present
Study focus (e.g. social development) Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and health and development of index child at birth and 12-24 months of age.
Sampling frame Women attending one of seven antenatal clinics in 2011-12 who are < 19 weeks pregnant with single baby.
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Cohort
Year commenced 2011
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) 2146
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? No
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? 3D photo of face at 12 months
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? Electronic hospital medical records (through maternal UR numbers)
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? Optional maternal and infant cheek swab, blood, placenta
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)? This project only (Specific consent)
Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
1 2011-2012 < 19 weeks gestation 2146
2 2011-2012 26 weeks gestation 1715
3 2011-2012 36 weeks gestation 1571
4 2013-2014 12 months old (includes birth) 1566 eligible (not withdrawn), 1296 completed survey
518 completed 3D anthropometric mask sub-study
5 2014-2015 2 years 1519 eligible (not withdrawn), 1038 completed survey
564 completed developmental assessment sub-study

Principal Investigators

Prof Jane Halliday

Prof Peter Anderson

Project Manager

Evelyne Muggli


Study Contact

Ph: +61 3 8341 6260

Postal Address

AQUA study

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Reply Paid 907
Parkville VIC 3052