Research released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says drinking among pregnant women is a public health concern. The agency noted 1 in 13 pregnant women drink alcohol.
According to statistics published on July 19 by the CDC, 1 in 13, or 7.6 percent, of pregnant women in the U.S. indulged in alcohol drinking during the time frame studied, 2006 -2010. Of this number, 1.4 percent of pregnant women reported binge drinking.
U.S. News notes the four-year study examined approximately 14,000 pregnant women and over 330,000 non-pregnant women, aged 18 to 44. The study was led by Claire Marchetta of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, a division of the CDC.
"Alcohol consumption (any use and binge drinking) among pregnant women is still an important public health concern," the CDC said in a media release.
The CDC reported the highest estimates of reported alcohol use were women aged 35-44 years. The U.S. health agency also noted that 51.5 percent of non-pregnant women reported drinking in the previous 30 days.
"Because no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy has been established and alcohol is known to cause birth defects, developmental disabilities, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should refrain from drinking alcohol," the CDC said.
The agency also noted this study is subject to at least three limitations identified as:
• Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data are "self-reported and subject to misclassification, recall, and social desirability biases, which can lead to underestimates of alcohol consumption."
• The study only included subjects with landlines, and with the increased number of households relying upon cellphones as a primary phone, this could potentially skew results.
• Women living in institutional settings (i.e. college campuses) were not included in the study.
The findings, published in the CDC's journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, shares other statistics and findings related to women and alcohol consumption.