ST. PETE BEACH, FLA. — Take time to focus specifically on wine consumption when routinely questioning pregnant patients about their use of alcohol.
That was the message in a poster on a study of alcohol consumption during pregnancy presented at the annual meeting of the Teratology Society.
The prospective, clinic-based cohort study involved 4,494 women interviewed at their first prenatal visit. Of these, 16% reported signs consistent with alcohol abuse and dependence, and half of those reported steady or binge drinking during pregnancy, reported William Rayburn, M.D., of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and his colleagues.
A total of 208 women with signs of alcohol abuse or dependence completed the study, including a 1-month postpartum interview.
Wine was the beverage of choice for about 25% of participants. Those who drank wine tended to consume lower quantities of alcohol, but a high percentage (43%) of wine drinkers continued their wine drinking after becoming aware of their pregnancy. This was particularly true among older white women, who were significantly more likely than younger women and minorities to continue drinking after pregnancy awareness.
Wine is one of the most widely consumed alcoholic beverages among women of reproductive age, including those who are problem drinkers both before and after becoming aware of their pregnancy. Specifically discussing the matter of wine consumption with pregnant patients is worthwhile, the researchers said.