Introduction: Reporting on alcohol use among women of reproductive age in Canada addresses a major gap in evidence.
Methods: We assessed the prevalence of weekly and heavy alcohol consumption among women aged 15 to 54 years by sociodemographic characteristics, province of residence and concurrent use of other substance(s) using data from the 2019 Canadian Community Health Survey.
Results: Of the target population, 30.5% reported weekly and 18.3% reported heavy alcohol consumption in the past year. Prevalence varied by sociodemographic characteristics, province and substance use. The most notable and significant differences were to do with cannabis use and smoking.
Conclusion: This information can guide health care providers in assessing alcohol consumption and in promoting low-risk alcohol drinking to prevent alcohol exposure during pregnancy.
Keywords: substance use, polysubstance use, women of reproductive age, Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
- In 2019, 30.5% of women of reproductive age reported weekly alcohol consumption.
- In 2019, 18.3% of women of reproductive age reported heavy alcohol consumption that exceeds Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
- These proportions varied by sociodemographic characteristics, province of residence, smoking status and cannabis use.
- Prevalence estimates for weekly and heavy alcohol consumption were between 2 and 3 times higher for women who reported being current, former or experimental tobacco smokers or who had reported consuming cannabis in the past year.