St. Louis, MO – St. Louis University will use a $1-million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to launch a multi-media campaign warning African-American women against drinking while pregnant. The campaign is the first of its kind in the nation. Dr. Mark Mengel with the SLU Medical School says Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can cause such problems as mental retardation and slow growth. Mengel says fetal alcohol syndrome occurs in 1 to 2 cases for every 1,000 live births. He adds that alcohol-related birth defects and neurodevelopmental disorders are more common.
He says a conservative estimate in our community is that one out of every 100 babies are affected by alcohol in some way.
Mengel says African-American women in St. Louis self-report that they drink during pregnancy at a rate twice that of Caucasian women.