Prenatal Drinking in the Northern Plains: Differences Between American Indian and Caucasian Mothers

Ping Ye, Jyoti Angal, Deborah A. Tobacco, Amy R. Willman, Christa A. Friedrich, Morgan E. Nelson, Larry Burd, Amy J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The study characterizes the pattern and risk factors of alcohol use during pregnancy for American Indian and Caucasian mothers in the Northern Plains. Methods: A general population of pregnant women was recruited from 5 sites, including 2,753 Caucasians and 2,124 American Indians (2006–2017). Alcohol consumption was based on self-report using a modified Timeline Followback interview, administered 3–4 times during pregnancy and 1 month postpartum. Risk for prenatal drinking was calculated using logistic regression models after controlling for demographics, reproductive history, prenatal care, mental health, and SES. The analysis was conducted in 2019. Results: More Caucasian mothers consumed alcoholic beverages during pregnancy than American Indians (63% vs 52%), whereas more American Indian mothers were binge drinkers than Caucasians (41% vs 28%). American Indian mothers had a lower risk of drinking in the second and third trimesters and postpartum, but a higher risk of binge drinking in the first trimester compared with Caucasians. Frequent relocation increased the risk of prenatal alcohol use among American Indian mothers, whereas age, marriage, income, parity, and fertility treatment affected the risk of prenatal drinking among Caucasian mothers. Conclusions: Alcohol use was more prevalent among Caucasian mothers. Among those who consumed alcohol during pregnancy, American Indian mothers consumed larger quantities. Change of residence was found to be the sole risk factor for prenatal drinking among American Indian mothers, whereas different and multiple risk factors were found for Caucasian mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e113-e121
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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