Document Detail

A review of policies on alcohol use during pregnancy in Australia and other English-speaking countries, 2006.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17484709     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It is well accepted that heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a risk factor for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but research findings for exposure to low to moderate alcohol levels during pregnancy are equivocal, allowing a range of interpretations. The 2001 guideline from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for low-risk drinking for "women who are pregnant or might soon become pregnant" recommends fewer than seven standard drinks per week, and no more than two standard drinks on any one day. This position has polarised health professional and consumer opinion in Australia. The NHMRC guidelines on alcohol are scheduled for review in 2007. We surveyed the alcohol and pregnancy policies and clinical practice guidelines of Australia and six other English-speaking countries to identify current policy. Documents were obtained through Internet searches and direct contact with the relevant organisations. The policies and guidelines varied both across and within countries, and the NHMRC guideline, while not universally supported in Australia, is in step with the policies of the United Kingdom and Canada. Research is needed to elucidate the true association between low to moderate alcohol consumption and fetal harm, the impact of different policies on rates of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and any untoward outcomes of an abstinence message, to inform and underpin future policy development in Australia.
Colleen M O'Leary; Louise Heuzenroeder; Elizabeth J Elliott; Carol Bower
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Medical journal of Australia     Volume:  186     ISSN:  0025-729X     ISO Abbreviation:  Med. J. Aust.     Publication Date:  2007 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-05-08     Completed Date:  2007-06-19     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400714     Medline TA:  Med J Aust     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  466-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Population Sciences and Centre for Child Health Research, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
Health Policy*
Practice Guidelines as Topic*
Preconception Care
Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
Comment In:
Med J Aust. 2007 Sep 3;187(5):315-6; author reply 316   [PMID:  17879459 ]
Med J Aust. 2007 Sep 3;187(5):315; author reply 316   [PMID:  17767442 ]

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