ATLANTA, May 21 (UPI) -- About 1 in 8 U.S. women drank some amount of alcohol during their pregnancy, federal health officials said.
A 15-year-study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the number of women who drink alcohol while pregnant is not decreasing and that 1 out of 50 pregnant women engaged in binge drinking.
Pregnant women drinking has persisted despite repeated warnings from surgeons general about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant, the report said.
"The surgeons general have told pregnant women, and women who may become pregnant to abstain from alcohol consumption in order to eliminate the chance of giving birth to a baby with alcohol-related birth defects," said the report, published in the CDC′s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study found that pregnant women most likely to report any alcohol use were ages 35-44 -- 17.7 percent, college graduates --14.4 percent, employed -- 13.7 percent and unmarried 13.4 percent. Pregnant women who binge drink were more likely to be employed and unmarried, the study said.
The researchers used data from 533,506 women age 18-44, of whom 22,027 reported being pregnant at the time of the interview.