Original Articles

Prevalence of Alcohol Use and Associated Factors in Pregnant Antenatal Care Attendees in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 4, 2011 , pages: 565–572
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820498
Author(s): Julia LouwHuman Sciences Research Council, South Africa, Karl PeltzerHuman Sciences Research Council, South Africa, Gladys MatsekeHuman Sciences Research Council, South Africa


We sought to identify the prevalence of alcohol use and associated factors among pregnant women who were patients at antenatal primary care clinics in a South Africa health district. A cross-sectional study using systematic sampling was conducted among 1497 pregnant women (age range=18to47years; mean age=26.6 years, SD=6.1; Black African=98%), with a mean gestational age of 6.5 months (SD=1.6). They completed a shortened version of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) questionnaire to measure alcohol use and misuse. Results showed that overall 6.6% of women reported current alcohol use, of which 21.6% reported having 5 or 6 drinks or more containing alcohol on a typical day, 15.1% reported weekly or daily binge drinking of four or more drinks on one occasion, and 17.2% were hazardous or harmful drinkers. Current alcohol use among pregnant women was in multivariate analysis associated with having more than one sexual partner in the past 12 months and intimate partner violence in the past 6 months. Identification of pregnant women with alcohol misuse in public health clinics is crucial for effective and appropriate targeted interventions.

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