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Study: 8 Percent Of West Virginia Babies Exposed To Alcohol Before Birth

MORGANTOWN (KDKA) -- About eight percent of West Virginia babies are exposed to alcohol before birth, according to a study.

The West Virginia University School of Medicine released a study on Thursday that shows about eight percent of the state's newborns are exposed to alcohol 2-4 weeks before birth.

"Alcohol exposure during the last trimester is associated with a range of developmental problems that may not be overtly expressed as cranio-facial deformities, but when these children go to school, you see that there are learning, cognitive, behavioral and so many other deficits—from memory to communicating, socializing and performing daily life skills," said Amna Umer, a research assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

The study featured 1,729 newborns, with researchers analyzing dried blood spots for phosphatidylethanol, a byproduct of metabolizing alcohol.

The study found that, on average, 8.10 percent of births had PETH levels consistent with late-pregnancy alcohol use.

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