GRAND FORKS, N.D., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Russian women are aware that drinking can damage developing fetuses, but 60 percent continue to drink after becoming pregnant, a study found.
"Russian obstetricians said (the women) won't answer or won't answer accurately (about their drinking)," said lead author Arlinda Kristjanson of 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. The North Dakota researchers found 95.9 percent who weren't pregnant reported drinking alcoholic beverages within the last year, but 60 percent of pregnant Russian women continued to drink after they knew they were expecting.
More than 90 percent of pregnant women surveyed said they knew that drinking could be harmful during pregnancy; 71 percent correctly linked it with birth defects and 47 percent said they had heard of fetal alcohol syndrome, according to the study published in the February issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
About 55 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age report drinking in the past year, with 3.3 percent reporting binge alcohol drinking during pregnancy.