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Consumption of Alcohol Beverages and Binge Drinking Among Pregnant Women Aged 18–44 Years — United States, 2015–2017
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), including birth defects that involve central nervous system impairment, behavioral disorders, and impaired intellectual development, which can lead to difficulties with school and employment. A recent study in four U.S. communities found a 1.1%-5.0% prevalence of FASDs among first-grade students (1). Drinking during pregnancy might also be a risk factor for other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth (2). CDC estimated the prevalence of self-reported current drinking (at least one alcohol drink in the past 30 days) and binge drinking (consuming four or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past 30 days) among pregnant women aged 18-44 years, using 2015-2017 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Current drinking and binge drinking in the past 30 days were reported by 11.5% and 3.9% of pregnant women, respectively. Among pregnant women who binge drink, the average frequency of binge drinking in the past 30 days was 4.5 episodes, and the average intensity of binge drinking (the average largest number of drinks reported consumed on any occasion among binge drinkers) was 6.0 drinks. 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 FASDs and other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.
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