Alcohol misuse among women in Brazil: recent trends and associations with unprotected sex, early pregnancy, and abortion


Braz. J. Psychiatry.




Objective: This study compared the rates of binge drinking (BD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) reported for 2006 with those reported for 2012, exploring their associations with unprotected sex, early pregnancy, and abortion in a representative sample of women in Brazilian households. Methods: This was a descriptive analysis of data from a cross-sectional study involving randomized multistage cluster sampling of the population ≥ 14 years of age. Weighted prevalence rates and odds ratios were estimated, and serial mediation analysis was performed. Results: A total of 4,256 women were analyzed. The BD prevalence was 35.1% and 47.1% in 2006 and 2012, respectively, a significant increase, especially among women 40-59 years of age. There was no significant difference in AUD prevalence. BD (without AUD) was found to increase the odds of unprotected sex and abortion. The path analysis showed that early pregnancy was a mediator of the relationship between alcohol consumption and abortion. Conclusion: Among women in Brazil, the harmful use of alcohol is increasing, which has an impact on female reproductive health and exposure to risks. There is a need for specific prevention initiatives focusing on alcohol-related behaviors in women.

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