Risk Factors Often Present in Cases of SIDS

Comprehensive parental education is needed to communicate compensatory strategies
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is often accompanied by multiple risk factors, many of which are modifiable, which call for more inclusive and comprehensive risk-reduction education, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

Barbara M. Ostfeld, Ph.D., of the Department of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and colleagues examined data from a population-based retrospective review of 244 New Jersey SIDS cases between 1996 and 2000. The researchers assessed for modifiable (e.g., parental smoking, non-supine sleep, bed-sharing) and non-modifiable (e.g., upper respiratory infection, younger age at birth) risks.

The researchers found that non-supine sleep occurred in 70.4 percent of cases with sleep position data (159 of 226). Maternal smoking was found in 42.6 percent of cases with smoking data available (92 of 216), with additional risks seen amongst 98 percent of these cases. At least one risk was present in 96 percent of cases, while 78 percent were found to have at least two risks.

"Risk-free and single-risk SIDS cases are rare, and most contain multiple risks. Parent education should be comprehensive and address compensatory strategies for non-modifiable risks," the authors conclude.

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