Correlates of Drinking During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy in Alaska


Objectives: To examine characteristics related to drinking during pregnancy among a population-based sample of women. Method: We analyzed data related to third-trimester drinking collected from the Alaska Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). PRAMS used a population-based, stratified sampling design to survey 9733 of the approximately 44,000 live births to Alaska-resident women during 1991–1994. We defined regular drinking as one or more drinks per week on average during the third trimester. Analyses included bivariate and multivariate associations with any and regular drinking. Results: Of women mailed a survey, 6973 responded and answered the questions related to alcohol consumption. Nine percent reported any drinking during the third trimester and 2.5% were regular third-trimester drinkers. The strongest risk factors for both any and regular third-trimester drinking were older age and marijuana or cocaine use. Other risk factors for any third-trimester drinking included prenatal cigarette smoking, greater education, non-Alaska Native race, the experience of significant life stressors, and residence in a community that did not restrict the sale of alcohol. Other risk factors for regular third-trimester drinking included prenatal cigarette smoking and the experience of domestic violence. Prenatal counseling regarding the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and adequacy of prenatal care were not significantly associated with either outcome variable. Conclusions: Efforts to decrease prenatal alcohol consumption should be directed at older women and should address social determinants of health, such as education, domestic violence, drug use, and the availability of alcohol. In the absence of these efforts, prenatal alcohol education by health care providers may have little impact on pregnancy-related drinking.

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Correspondence to Katherine A. Perham-Hester.

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Perham-Hester, K.A., Gessner, B.D. Correlates of Drinking During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy in Alaska. Matern Child Health J 1, 165–172 (1997).

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  • Alaska
  • Alaska Native
  • alcohol drinking
  • domestic violence
  • fetal alcohol syndrome
  • pregnancy
  • substance use