Correlates of prenatal alcohol use

Laurie L. Meschke, Wendy Hellerstedt, Joyce A. Holl, Sara Messelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives: To identify correlates of prenatal alcohol use in a statewide population-based sample. Methods: A self-reported survey was conducted in 67 prenatal clinics in Minnesota with 4,272 women at their first prenatal visit. Chi-squared and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify risk markers associated with any prenatal alcohol use. Results: Nearly 27% of the respondents were calculated as having used alcohol during pregnancy. In multivariable analyses, the following were risk markers for prenatal alcohol use: older age, being unmarried, lower gravidity, greater depressed mood, currently smoking, exposure to intrapersonal violence, a history of not remembering things because of alcohol use, and feelings that the respondent should reduce her drinking. Subsequent analyses revealed that the association of intrapersonal violence with prenatal drinking was mediated by whether the woman reported that she did not remember things while drinking or that the woman felt she should reduce her drinking. Conclusions: The demographic and behavioral correlates reported here are consistent with previous research. The significance of two alcohol behavioral factors (i.e., not remembering things and feeling that she should reduce her drinking) suggest that the women who drank during pregnancy would likely have substance abuse issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal alcohol use
  • Substance use


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