Who is at risk of FAS/FAE?

Alcohol-free mom with healthy baby

Whose babies are at highest risk of prenatal exposure to alcohol?

According to studies of 6,000 pregnant women, as reported in a recent issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology (August 1998), drinking during pregnancy has increased in the past few years. More than 15% of pregnant women reported drinking alcoholic beverages while pregnant, and 3.5% drank alcohol frequently during pregnancy, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And the study, in which more than 100,000 women were interviewed, shows surprising results about which groups of women are more likely to drink during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers in the following groups are at highest risk:

  • Women with a college education
  • Unmarried women
  • Female students
  • Women who smoke
  • Women in households with greater than $50,000 annual income
  • It is thought that the increase is due to the widespread publicity about the apparent health benefits of moderate drinking.

    Teresa Kellerman 8/3/98

    Source of information: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 92, pp. 187-192, Aug. 1998: Alcohol Consumption by Pregnant Women in the United States During 1988-1995

    FAS Community Resource Center www.come-over.to/FASCRC