Thursday, November 01, 2007



While we're sitting in line waiting to gas up, here's a piece on American Indians.

Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look At Race, Ethnicity And

Health in the Community | American Indians Work To Address Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome, Effects on Children
[Oct 24, 2007]
Minnesota Public Radio on Monday as part of a six-part series on
fetal alcohol syndrome examined how the condition affects American
Indians in the state. According to CDC studies, the fetal alcohol rate
among American Indians is 30 times higher than the rate among whites.
The syndrome affects 40,000 infants in the U.S. each year, MPR reports.

Sandra Parsons, director of Family and Children's Services for the Red
Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota, said, "I would say it's very
definitely a problem, almost pervasive. I haven't found anybody yet who
disputes that. I think people would be literally amazed at how prevalent
it might be." She added, "It's kind of one of those 'don't talk about
it, don't exist' pieces. But if we are damaging our kids in those kind
of numbers, somebody needs to talk about it. Somebody needs to be
looking at what is the reality."

Some Minnesota tribal officials say fetal alcohol syndrome is linked to
a high number of children with learning disabilities and higher drop out
and prison rates on Indian reservations. Parsons said while she also
believes there is a connection between fetal alcohol damage and social
and behavioral problems among American Indian children, there is little
scientific evidence to support such claims. Her group worked with more
than 900 children last year, and many of them had behavior problems that
Parsons thinks might be related to fetal alcohol syndrome.

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