Alcohol and Nicotine Consumption during Pregnancy



Aims: The consumption of alcohol and nicotine during pregnancy relate to a multitude of personal and socioeconomic factors. Since even the consumption in non-clinical populations pose a health risk to children, epidemiologic data related to factors potentially contributing to an increase in consumption during pregnancy were investigated. 

Methodology: Cross-sectional analyses were based on interview data from 260 pregnant women taking part in a longitudinal intervention project (Bremer Initiative to Foster Early Child Development). Women had a below-average family income, a migration background, or faced other social and cultural challenges. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine consumption prevalence. Logistic regression models were conducted to estimate associations of alcohol or nicotine consumption with personal and socioeconomic factors. 

Results: Of the total sample (mean age: 31.1 years), 45 % consumed alcohol and/or nicotine during pregnancy. 92.3 % quit drinking and 62.8 % stopped smoking following confirmation of pregnancy. Better social support and higher age increased the likelihood of alcohol consumption, while this was decreased by an Islamic cultural background. Smoking was predicted by a lower level of education. Unplanned pregnancies predicted the consumption of both, alcohol and nicotine. 

Conclusions: A multitude of factors influence alcohol and nicotine consumption in non-clinical populations. Preventive strategies should include pre-pregnancy stages and health information needs to mirror factors contributing to consumption.

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