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J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2000 Summer;55(4):225-7, 240.

Reducing complications from alcohol use during pregnancy through screening.

Author information

  • 1Boston University School of Medicine, USA.

Abstract

Prenatal providers are reluctant to discuss alcohol use in the clinical setting, even though heavy alcohol use is associated with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE), sometimes known as alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. Fourteen percent to 20% of pregnant women report drinking some alcohol during pregnancy. Approximately 0.2% to 1% meet the criteria for heavy drinking. Reducing drinking during pregnancy has the potential to reduce the risk for FAS and FAE. Routine screening for alcohol use during pregnancy followed by referrals for those considered to be at risk is recommended. Women are often more receptive to intervention during pregnancy, as they focus on positive health behaviors. A number of brief screening tools designed for use on a routine basis are reviewed. Physicians who learn to comfortably discuss alcohol use during pregnancy can help substantially reduce the impact of these disorders.

PMID:
10935357
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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