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Using a single binge drinking question to identify Russian women at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy

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Addictive Behaviors



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Introduction Low rates of contraception and at-risk drinking place many Russian women at risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP). The only realistic way to determine when women are at risk of AEP is by self-reports. A U.S. study found that a single binge-drinking question (SBD) effectively identified nearly all women whose drinking placed them at risk of AEP. Methods The present study replicated the U.S. study. Participants were 689 non-pregnant Russian women of childbearing age who were at AEP risk. Their answers to SBD, “During the previous three months, how often did you have four or more drinks on one occasion”, were compared with their reports of binge drinking on a 90-day Timeline Followback (TLFB) calendar. Results The SBD identified 99% of at-risk Russian women as binge drinkers, replicating U.S. findings. Only 8% of the women were identified at-risk using a second AEP criterion of ≥ 8 drinks on average per week. Although Russian women did not report heavy weekly drinking and two-thirds did not meet AUDIT criteria for problem drinking, when they did drink, 40% of the time it was binge drinking. Conclusions Almost all Russian women who were at risk of an AEP were identified by a single binge-drinking question. Results from this study suggest that Russian health care practitioners can use SBD to successfully screen women for AEP risk. SBD identified 99% of Russian women who were at AEP risk. Consequently, it is recommended that SBD be incorporated into routine health care screenings at OB/GYN clinic visits.



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