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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MORAES, Claudia Leite  and  REICHENHEIM, Michael Eduardo. Screening for alcohol use by pregnant women of public health care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.5, pp.695-703. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of suspected cases of alcohol use during pregnancy in women seeking care in public health services. METHODS: Cross-sectional study comprising 537 women randomly selected in public maternity hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil, from March to October 2000. A well-trained team of female interviewers used the instruments Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener (CAGE), Tolerance Cut-down, Annoyed, Eye-opener (T-ACE) and Tolerance Worry Eye-opener Annoyed Cut-down (TWEAK) to assess suspect cases of alcohol misuse. The Chi-square test was used in the analysis according to socioeconomic and demographic variables. RESULTS: About 40% of women informed having used any type of alcoholic beverage during pregnancy. Beer was the most frequently used drink (83.9%). Depending on the measurement instrument used, estimates of alcohol misuse varied from 7.3% to 26.1%. Suspected cases of alcohol abuse were more common among non-white, older and less educated women; those not living with a partner; those reporting use of tobacco and illicit drugs either by one or both partners in a couple; and those with little social support. CONCLUSIONS: High prevalence of suspected alcohol misuse and its overlapping with several risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes indicate this is an important issue of public health concern requiring continuous screening during prenatal care.

Keywords : Alcohol drinking [epidemiology]; Pregnant women; Questionnaires; Cross-sectional studies; Brazil.

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