Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Irish drink most while pregnant, study finds

By Jennifer Cockerell

Irish women are the biggest drinkers during pregnancy, health experts have warned after carrying out a large scale global study.

Women across all socio-demographic groups were likely to drink - but those who smoked were up to 50% more likely to consume alcohol while pregnant, research led by the University of Cambridge found.

Researchers called the widespread consumption of even low levels of alcohol during pregnancy as a "significant public health concern".

Their analysis of almost 18,000 women in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia found drinking during pregnancy was commonplace in all four countries, from 20% to 80% in Ireland and from 40% upwards in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland had the highest prevalence of any alcohol consumption pre-pregnancy (90%) and during pregnancy (82%), and the highest reported binge consumption before (59%) and during (45%) pregnancy.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph