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Pregnancy :: Many russian women drink during pregnancy

Russian women are aware that drinking can damage developing fetuses ? but nearly two-thirds continue to drink after they become pregnant, according to new research.

Before doing the study, researchers hadn?t even been sure that it was possible to conduct accurate surveys in this population.

?Russian obstetricians said [the women] won?t answer or won?t answer accurately,? said lead author Arlinda Kristjanson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of North Dakota. ?But we found that they will and they will say exactly what they are drinking.?

Nearly 900 Russian women were interviewed at job centers, physicians? offices, schools, hospitals and clinics for the study, which appears in the February issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Of the women, 95.9 percent who weren?t pregnant reported drinking alcoholic beverages within the last year ? and 60 percent of pregnant women continued to drink after they knew they were expecting. Just over a third of pregnant women reported having had at least one drink in the past month and 7.4 percent reported drinking five or more drinks on one occasion.

In the United States, drinking rates are much lower, with only 50 percent to 60 percent of women of childbearing age reporting past-year alcohol use and 3.3 percent reporting binge use while pregnant.

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