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Heeding the Alcoholic Beverage Warning Label during Pregnancy: Multiparae versus Nulliparae
Janet R. Hankin, Ira J. Firestone, James J. Sloan, Joel W. Ager, Robert J. Sokol, Susan S. Martier
Objective: We compared the impact of the Federal Alcoholic Beverage Warning Label on multiparae (women with at least one previous live birth) and nulliparae (women with no previous live births). The label, implemented on November 18, 1989, urges women not to drink during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. If multiparae drank during prior pregnancies, delivering apparently normal babies, we hypothesized that the warning might be less salient for them. Method: We studied 17,456 inner city black gravidas seen between September 1986 and September 1993 at one antenatal clinic. Time series analysis (ARIMA) examined trends in monthly means of antenatal drinking scores (alcohol consumption adjusted for weeks' gestation, age, parity and periconceptional drinking). Results: For nulliparae (n = 7,349), reported drinking began to show a significant decline in June 1990, 7 months after the implementation of the warning label (t = 2.00, p < .04). In contrast, multiparae (n = 10,107) showed no change in reported drinking (t = 1.23) postlabel. Conclusions: Given previous results that multiparae drink more and that heavier drinkers are ignoring the warning label, these data are very distressing and suggest the importance of targeting multiparae for intensive prevention efforts. (J. Stud. Alcohol 57: 171-177, 1996)