Alcohol Use During Pregnancy in Canada

Pages from Perinatal_Health_Indicators_for_Canada_2013

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently released Perinatal Health Indicators 2013 which includes data on alcohol use during pregnancy.

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, the report includes data on alcohol use during pregnancy as well as trends over time (1993-2008), by age, and by province.

  • The rate of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy was 10.7% in 2005–2008. (This is similar to data from the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey conducted in 2005-2006 which found that 10.8% of women reported ever drinking alcohol during pregnancy.)
  • Rates of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy remained stable between throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Rates then dropped 15.5% in 2001–2004 to 10.7% in 2005–2008.
  • Rates of alcohol consumption increased with age. In 2005–2008, 8.0% of mothers aged 20-24, 10.2% of women aged 25-29, 11.7% of women aged 30-34, and 11.2% of women aged 35-39 years reported drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Among provinces, in 2005–2008, Prince Edward Island had the lowest maternal alcohol consumption rate (4.9%), followed by Newfoundland and Labrador (5.4%). The highest rates were in Ontario (12.0%) and Quebec (25.6%).



For more on rates of alcohol use during pregnancy in Canada, see an earlier post Epidemiology of alcohol use in pregnancy in Canada (September 12, 2011).