Dinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause many health problems for the child, one of which is fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Since FASD is incurable, actions meant to prevent the occurrence of the disability by targeting drinking women become more important. Epidemiological data on drinking among pregnant women, including prevalence and determinants/risk factors, is essential for designing and evaluating prevention programs.
To estimate the prevalence of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and examine the determinants of this behaviour.
Using the 2007/8 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data, we estimated the weighted prevalence of women who drank alcohol during their last pregnancy by provinces. We used a weighted logistic regression to examine associations between drinking patterns, substance abuse behaviours, health-related and socio-demographic characteristics of the women, and the outcome variable.
There were two main findings of this study. One was that the 2007/8 prevalence of drinking alcohol during pregnancy in ON, BC, and Canada was estimated at 5.4%, 7.2%, and 5.8%, respectively. The other was that the use of general practitioners (GP) or family physicians (FP) associated with a decreased risk of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
The results suggest that interventions that involve GP or FP and that increase the use of GP or FP by pregnant women can be effective in reducing drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Key Words: Drinking alcohol, pregnancy, prevalence, determinant, CCHS 2007/8