Alcohol consumption among women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant--United States, 2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Dec 24;53(50):1178-81.


Alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with health problems that adversely affect the mother and fetus; no level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been determined safe. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is recognized as the foremost preventable condition involving neurobehavioral and developmental abnormalities. Women who drink during pregnancy place themselves at risk for having a child with FAS or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). To determine the alcohol consumption patterns among all women of childbearing age, including those who are pregnant or might become pregnant, CDC analyzed data for women aged 18-44 years from the 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. The results of that analysis indicated that approximately 10% of pregnant women used alcohol, and approximately 2% engaged in binge drinking or frequent use of alcohol. The results further indicated that more than half of women who did not use birth control (and therefore might become pregnant) reported alcohol use and 12.4% reported binge drinking. Women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should abstain from alcohol use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • United States / epidemiology