Predictors of antenatal alcohol use among Australian women: a prospective cohort study

Authors

  • AE Anderson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    • Correspondence: AE Anderson, Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, HMRI Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia. Email Amy.Anderson@newcastle.edu.au

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  • AJ Hure,

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
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  • P Forder,

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
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  • JR Powers,

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
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  • FJ Kay-Lambkin,

    1. Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health Research, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    2. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia
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  • DJ Loxton

    1. Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
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Abstract

Objective

To identify predictors of antenatal alcohol consumption among women who usually consume alcohol.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH).

Population or Sample

A total of 1969 women sampled from the ALSWH 1973–78 cohort.

Methods

Women were included if they were pregnant in 2000, 2003, 2006 or 2009. The relationship between antenatal alcohol consumption and sociodemographics, reproductive health, mental health, physical health, health behaviours, alcohol guidelines and healthcare factors was investigated using a multivariate logistic regression model.

Main outcome measures

Alcohol use during pregnancy.

Results

Most (82.0%) women continued to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Women were more likely to drink alcohol during pregnancy if they had consumed alcohol on a weekly basis before pregnancy (odds ratio [OR] 1.47; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.13–1.90), binge drank before pregnancy (OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.76–2.94), or if they were pregnant while alcohol guidelines recommended low alcohol versus abstinence (OR 1.60; 95% CI 1.26–2.03). Drinking during pregnancy was less likely if women had a Health Care Card (OR 0.63; 95% CI 0.45–0.88) or if they had ever had fertility problems (OR 0.64; 95% CI 0.48–0.86).

Conclusions

Most Australian women who drank alcohol continued to do so during pregnancy. Prepregnancy alcohol consumption was one of the main predictors of antenatal alcohol use. Alcohol guidelines, fertility problems and Health Care Card status also impacted antenatal alcohol consumption.

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