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Fact Sheet - Alcohol & Pregnancy

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  • If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you should not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause a range of birth defects, and children exposed to alcohol before birth can have lifelong learning and behavioral problems.
 Full Text [Fact #277]
  • Research indicates that adolescents who abuse alcohol may remember 10% less of what they have learned than those who don't drink. [2000 data]
  • Among 12- to 17-year-old current drinkers, 31% had extreme levels of psychological distress, and 39% exhibited serious behavioral problems. [1999 report]
  • Current drinkers among a nationally representative sample of youth aged 12 to 16 had higher levels of diastolic blood pressure than did their nondrinking counterparts. [1999 report]
  • According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, 12- to 16-year-old girls who reported using alcohol during the 30-day period prior to the survey, are four times more likely than their nondrinking peers to suffer from depression. [2000 report]
  • Men who consume more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day are at increased risk for cancer, cerebrovascular disease, accidents, and violence. [2000 report]
  • The cognitive deficits and behavioral problems resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure are lifelong.
  • According to data from a 1999 national study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one of every eight women of childbearing age (18 to 44 yrs.) reported binge drinking which, in the event of pregnancy, poses a threat to the fetus.


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