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Authors respond to "pregnant women should be tested for alcohol"

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Authors respond to “pregnant women should be tested for alcohol”

An article in the Telegraph on 6th July reported on an epidemiological study on alcohol use by pregnant women. The article stated that the study authors are recommending that pregnant women should undergo regular alcohol tests, presumably as a means to reduce their alcohol intake. However, this is not the position of the study authors nor what is recommended in the original research article.

Dr Linda O’Keeffe, epidemiologist and lead author of the study, said:

“At no point were we advocating for the regular testing of women for alcohol use during pregnancy in our recent BMJ Open paper.

“Epidemiological studies of alcohol use, which use surveys and interviews, often suffer from problems such as under-reporting or poor recall by participants. These biases make it difficult to produce robust evidence of alcohol use during pregnancy. In our study we referred to an objective biological marker for use in research, which we have not yet found. This is in the context of improving the quality of future research on the association of alcohol use with infant and child outcomes.”

Document type: For The Record

Published: 5 August 2015

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Source: Sense About Science

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