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15 % of Pregnant Women Drink Alcohol

15 % of Pregnant Women Drink Alcohol

Although most of those women reported on an anonymous survey that they'd had less than one drink a week, some acknowledged drinking more than that on a regular basis, or said they'd had at least one binge of five or more drinks at once.

The study, published in the Jan. 2003 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research by a team from the University of Michigan Health System, also found that women who smoke during pregnancy were more likely to drink alcohol too -- as were women in earlier stages of pregnancy. And only about half of the women recalled being asked about their drinking by their obstetric provider.

In all, the authors say, the results suggest that doctors and other health care providers should assess all women's drinking behavior during prenatal visits, and counsel certain women more intensely about drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

The study of 1,131 pregnant women represents the largest and broadest assessment of drinking in pregnancy since 1995; other studies have mainly focused on at-risk populations or ethnic groups with a high risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, a rare but devastating cause of birth defects and mental retardation in children that has been shown to be brought on by heavy drinking during a woman's pregnancy., Source: University of Michigan Health System


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