One in 12 pregnant women drinks alcoholic beverages

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 6, 2012

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An estimated 8% of women consume alcohol during pregnancy, and 1.4% of them binge drink, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Binge drinking is defined for women as having at least four alcoholic beverages in a sitting.

Among pregnant women, the highest prevalence of reported alcohol use was found in those age 35 to 44 (14.3%), college graduates (10%), those with a job (9.6%) and whites (8.3%), said the study, published online July 20 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (link). Researchers examined data on 345,076 women 18 to 44 who participated in the 2006-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Alcohol use during pregnancy is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities, the CDC said. Implementing alcohol screening and brief interventions in primary care for women of reproductive age might help reduce drinking during pregnancy, the report said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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