“One in nine pregnant women in the United States say they’ve consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, an activity that raises the risks of serious birth defects that can lead to lifelong disabilities, according to a new CDC study.
The reported drinking rates among pregnant women have increased slightly from earlier this decade, the CDC found. Between 2011 and 2013, 10.2 percent of pregnant women reported having a drink within the past 30 days, compared to 11.5 percent in the new report. Rates of reported binge drinking — which the CDC defines as four or more drinks on at least one occasion — increased from 3.1 percent of pregnant women to 3.9 percent over the same time.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders that lead to behavioral disorders and impaired intellectual development, among other things, that can affect a child into adulthood. It also could place women at a higher risk of having a miscarriage or a stillbirth.
People born with fetal alcohol syndrome are more likely to be incarcerated, have a developmental disability, and struggle with a mental illness compared to the general population, according to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
According to a 2018 JAMA study examining first graders, at least 1 to 5 percent of children in select U.S. communities have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, though researchers suggest the prevalence may be even higher.
Researchers recommended universal alcohol screenings and counseling in primary and prenatal care to help decrease the prevalence of drinking during pregnancy.”
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