Main Article Content
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, pregnancy, alcohol consumption
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a range of disabilities caused by gestational exposure of the fetus to alcohol. Alcohol consumption in Israel has increased dramatically in the last decades. Our previous study revealed limited knowledge among Israeli medical professionals of the risks and potential long-term effects of FASD.
To evaluate the awareness and knowledge of women regarding the current recommendations on alcohol consumption during pregnancy, evaluate how many of the women received information regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy from medical professionals, and their personal drinking habits during pregnancy.
A cross-sectional sample of new mothers in 3 large hospitals in Israel were asked to complete an ad hoc questionnaire on aspects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
A total of 3815 women of mean age 30.4 years participated in the study; 82% were Jewish. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy was reported by 14.1%, including more than 17% of the Jewish women, 11.1% of the Christian women, and none of the Muslim women. Rates were higher among nonsecular and younger women and first-time mothers. 71.6% of the sample claimed that women should not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy, and 21.4% thought that it was permissible if limited to 2 drinks per week. Seventy-five percent had received no formal information from medical professionals regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Alcohol consumption is frequent among pregnant women in Israel, especially young secular Jewish women with first pregnancies. Improved educational programs on the dangers of FASD are needed for both professionals and the general public.
2. Koren G, Nulman I, Chudley AE. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. CMAJ 2003, 25(11):1181- 1185.
3. Coles C, Brown R, Smith I, Platzman K, Erickson S, Falek A. Effects of prenatal alcohol exposure at school age. I. Physical and cognitive development. Neurotoxicol Teratol 1991;13(4):357–67.
4. Clarren S, Alvord E, Sumi S, Streissguth A, Smith D. Brain malformations related to prenatal exposure to ethanol. J Pediatr 1978;92(1):64–67.
5. Abel EL, Jacobson S, Sherwin BT. In utero alcohol exposure: Functional and structural brain damage. Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology 1983;5:363–366.
6. Sampson PD, Streissguth AP, Bookstein FL, et al. Incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and prevalence of alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. Teratology 1997;56:317-26.
7. May PA, Fiorentino D, Gossage JP, et al. Epidemiology of FASD in a province in Italy: prevalence and characteristics of children in a random sample of schools. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2006; 30(9): 1562-75.
8. Chudley AE, Conry J, Cook JL, Loock C, Rosales T, LeBlanc N. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Canadian guidelines for diagnosis. CMAJ 2005; 172(5 suppl):S1-S5.
9. Viljoen DL, Gossage JP, Brooke L, et al. Fetal alcohol syndrome epidemiology in a South African community: a second study of a very high prevalence area. J Stud Alcohol 2005;66(5):593- 604.
10. Lupton C, Burd L, Barwood R. Cost of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Semin Med Genet 2004;127:42-50.
11. Stade B, Ungar WJ, Stevens B, Beyene J, Koren G. The burden of prenatal exposure to alcohol: measurement of cost. J FAS Int 2006;4:e5.
12. Tsai J, Floyd RL, Green PP, Boyle CA. Patterns and average volume of alcohol use among women of childbearing age. Matern Child Health J 2007;11:437-45.
13. Finer LB, Henshaw SK. Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2006;38:90- 6.
14. Floyd RL, Decoufle P, Hungerford DW. Alcohol use prior to pregnancy recognition. Am J PrevMed 1999;17(2):101-7.
15. Colvin L, Payne J, Parsons D, Kurinczuk JJ, Bower C. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy in no indigenous west Australian women. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2007; 31(2):276-84.
16. Anderson P, Baumberg B. Alcohol in Europe. London: Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2006.
17. Sayal K, Heron J, Golding J, Alati R, Smith GD, Gray R, et al. Binge pattern of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and childhood mental health outcomes: longitudinal populationbased study. Pediatrics 2009;123:e289–96.
18. Tsai J, Floyd RL, Bertrand J. Tracking binge drinking among U.S. childbearing-age women. PrevMed 2007;44:298-302.
19. Neumark YD, Rahav R, Jaffe DH. Socioeconomic status and binge drinking in Israel. Drug Alcohol Depend 2003;69:15-21.
20. Senecky Y, Inbar D, Diamond G, Basel-Vanagaite L, Rigler S, Chodick G. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Israel. Isr Med Assoc J 2009; 11(10):619-22.
21. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2001. Summary of Findings from the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Office of Applied Studies, NHSDA Series H-13, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 01-3549, Rockville,MD.
22. Sokol RJ, Martier SS, Ager JW. The T-ACE questions: practical prenatal detection of risk– drinking. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1989;160(4):863- 8.
23. http://www.cbs.gov.il/www/mifkad/mifkad_2008/ profiles/rep_h_000000.pdf Accessed on July 5, 2009.
24. Tsai J, Floyd RL. Alcohol consumption among women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant - United States, 2002. MMWR 2004; 53(50):1178-81.