Alcohol use and self-perceived mental health status among pregnant and breastfeeding women in Canada: a secondary data analysis.

Alcohol use and self-perceived mental health status among pregnant and breastfeeding women in Canada: a secondary data analysis.

S Lange,a,b M Quere,c K Shield,a,b J Rehm,a,b,d,e S Popovaa,b,d,f
a Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada b Institute of MedicalScience, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada c Institut de Sante Publique d’Epidemiologie et de Developpement, l’Universite Bordeaux Segalen, Bordeaux Cedex, France d Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada e Epidemiological Research Unit, Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universita¨t Dresden, Dresden, Germany f Factor- Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, ON, Canada
Correspondence: S Popova, Social and Epidemiological Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2S1. Email lana.popova@camh.ca

Objective

To estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding in Canada from 2003 to 2010, and to test the relation between self-perceived mental health status and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while
breastfeeding.

Design

Secondary analysis of four cycles of the CanadianCommunity Health Survey, a population-based cross-sectional survey. Setting Canada. Sample A total of 18 612 pregnant and 15 836 breastfeeding women.

Methods

The prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by province and territory, and cycle. The
relation between self-perceived mental health status and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding was explored using quasi-Poisson regression
models.

Main outcome measures

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and self-perceived mental health status.

Results

In Canada, between 2003 and 2010, approximately one in every ten pregnant women (9.9%; 95%CI 9.2–10.5%) and two in every ten breastfeeding women (20.3%; 95%CI 19.4–21.2%) women consumed alcohol. Women with a lower self-perceived mental health status (i.e. ‘good’) were 1.40 (95%CI 1.18–1.67, P < 0.001) times more likely to have consumed alcohol during pregnancy, compared with women with an ‘excellent’ self perceived mental health. There were no notable differences between the categories of mental health status in regard to alcohol consumption while breastfeeding.

Conclusion

Despite public health efforts in Canada, a significant proportion of pregnant and breastfeeding women consume alcohol. It is imperative that a standard screening protocol be initiated among pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially in high-risk populations (e.g. women utilising substance abuse treatment programs).

Keywords Alcohol use, breastfeeding, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorder, mental health, pregnancy, prevalence.

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