Binge Drinking and Unintended Pregnancies
May 26, 2003
(Ivanhoe Newswire) --
Nearly half of
all pregnancies in the
A new study shows
is associated with the risk of a woman getting pregnant when it's
The study also shows binge drinkers are more likely to put their
baby at risk by drinking during pregnancy.
Binge drinking is
defined as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages on one
occasion. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention conducted a study to determine the relationship between
binge drinking in the three months
before pregnancy and to characterize binge drinking women who are
of childbearing age.
The study included
more than 72,900 women who gave birth from 1996 to 1999. The women
were asked if their pregnancy was unintended or intended. An
unintended pregnancy is defined as one that was mistimed so it was
sooner than desired, or unwanted meaning it was not wanted at all.
Researchers also asked the women about their age, race and
Researchers say 45
percent of the women reported an unintended pregnancy. Compared
with women who had an intended pregnancy, the women with an
unintended pregnancy were more likely to be black, young and binge
drink during the three months before they conceived. However,
after adjusting for other factors, researchers say binge drinking
before getting pregnant was associated with an unintended
pregnancy in white women, but not black women. The study found
women who were binge drinkers before pregnancy were more likely to
be white, unmarried, smoke and be exposed to violence. They were
also more likely to drink alcohol and smoke during pregnancy.
While researchers say
the risk factors for unintended pregnancy are complex, binge
drinking may be an area to focus on. They say many of these same
maternal risk factors such as binge drinking put children at an
increased risk for subsequent physical and emotional harm.
Therefore, the authors of the study recommend addressing binge
drinking and other risk factors to reduce the rates of unintended
pregnancies and help improve the overall health and well-being of
mothers and their children.
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