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Alcohol Use Is Less Prevalent in Second, Third Trimesters

38.2 percent of those who reported current drinking also reported use of one or more substances

TUESDAY, Aug. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of self-reported drinking is lower among pregnant women in their second or third trimester compared to those in their first trimester, according to research published in the Aug. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Lucinda J. England, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the overall and trimester-specific prevalence of self-reported drinking in the past 12 months, current drinking, and binge drinking among pregnant women aged 12 to 44 years; co-use of other substances was also examined.

The researchers found that 64.7 percent of pregnant respondents reported past drinking (12 months). Current drinking (at least one drink in the past 30 days) was reported by 19.6 and 4.7 percent of respondents in the first trimester of pregnancy or their second or third trimester, respectively. Overall, 10.5 and 1.4 percent of those in the first trimester of pregnancy or the second or third trimester reported binge drinking (consuming four or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past 30 days). More than one-third (38.2 percent) of those who reported current drinking also reported use of one or more other substances, with tobacco and marijuana used most with alcohol.

“Females could benefit from screening and interventions in pregnancy to reduce alcohol and polysubstance use and from referral for those in need of treatment,” the authors write.

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