Alcohol use during pregnancy in Rakai, Uganda

PLoS One. 2021 Aug 26;16(8):e0256434. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256434. eCollection 2021.


INTRODUCTION: Antenatal alcohol use is linked to adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Uganda has one of the highest rates of alcohol use in sub-Saharan Africa, but the prevalence of antenatal alcohol use has not been reported in the Rakai region.

METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from pregnant women in the Rakai Community Cohort Study between March 2017 and September 2018. Using bivariate and multivariable analyses, we assessed associations between self-reported antenatal alcohol use and sociodemographic characteristics, intimate partner violence (IPV), and HIV status.

RESULTS: Among 960 pregnant women, the median age was 26 years, 35% experienced IPV in the past 12 months, 13% were living with HIV, and 33% reported alcohol use during their current pregnancy. After adjusting for marital status, education, smoking, and HIV status; Catholic religion (AOR: 3.54; 95% CI: 1.89-6.64; compared to other), bar/restaurant work (AOR: 2.40; 95% CI: 1.17-4.92; compared to agriculture), >one sex partner in past year (AOR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.17-3.16), a partner that drank before sex in past year (AOR: 2.01; 95% CI: 1.48-2.74), and past year IPV (AOR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.14-2.11) were associated with antenatal alcohol use.

CONCLUSION: We found that alcohol use during pregnancy was common and associated with religion, occupation, higher numbers of past year sex partners, having a partner who drank before sex in the past 12 months, and IPV experience. More research is needed to understand the quantity, frequency, and timing of antenatal alcohol use; and potential impacts on neonates; and to identify services that are acceptable and effective among pregnant women.

PMID:34437616 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0256434

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