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November 4, 1983

Experience With Pregnant Problem Drinkers-Reply

Author Affiliations

Boston City Hospital Boston University School of Medicine

JAMA. 1983;250(17):2287. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340170025019

In Reply.—  We appreciate Dr Singh's favorable comments on our ten-question drinking history and treatment plan. A comparison of several forms of therapy for heavy drinking during pregnancy is an important subject for investigation. However, the goal of our research was to study the relationship between patterns of alcohol consumption and fetal development. We have reported demographic and behavioral maternal characteristics of 1,711 women who registered for prenatal care at Boston City Hospital between 1974 and 19791 and evaluations of their newborns' conditions.2 Sustained heavy drinking was associated with intrauterine growth retardation and congenital anomalies; reduction of heavy drinking benefited offspring.The three phases of heavy drinking were described to help plan successful treatment strategies. When therapy was adapted to the needs of individual patients, the majority of women in each phase attained sobriety. Social characteristics and drinking patterns did not predict the effectiveness of therapy.Since this