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CDC: Drinking Alcohol Not Uncommon Among Pregnant Women

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 -- Approximately one in nine pregnant women report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and among those, about one-third report binge drinking, according to research published in the April 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Clark H. Denny, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2015 to 2017) to estimate the prevalence of self-reported current drinking (at least one alcohol drink in the past 30 days) and binge drinking (consuming at least four drinks at least once in the past 30 days) among pregnant women (aged 18 to 44 years).

The researchers found that current drinking in the past 30 days was reported by 11.5 percent of pregnant women, while binge drinking in the past 30 days was reported by 3.9 percent of pregnant women. Among those reporting binge drinking, the average frequency of binge drinking was 4.5 episodes in the past 30 days, and the average largest number of drinks reported by binge drinkers on one occasion was six drinks. Both drinking alcohol and binge drinking during pregnancy were more likely among nonmarried women versus married women.

"Increased implementation of evidence-based community-level and clinic-level interventions, such as universal alcohol screening and brief counseling in primary and prenatal care, could decrease the prevalence of drinking during pregnancy, which might ultimately reduce the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes," the authors write.

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Posted: April 2019

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