Alcohol Consumption Tied to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Increases in alcohol consumption and SIDs occur on New Year's Day and weekends

FRIDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption among caregivers of infants appears to be associated with a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs), which surges on New Year's Day and increases on weekends, according to research published online Nov. 9 in Addiction.

David P. Phillips, Ph.D., of the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues evaluated 129,090 SIDS cases and 295,151 other infant deaths between 1973 and 2006 using computerized death certificates, a linked birth and infant death data set, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System; their research also included all people involved in late-night alcohol-related crashes between 1994 and 2008.

The investigators found that the largest increases in alcohol consumption and in SIDS (33 percent) occurred on New Year's Day, with alcohol consumption and SIDS also increasing significantly on weekends. In addition, children of alcohol-consuming mothers were substantially more likely to die from SIDS than were children of non-alcohol-consuming mothers.

"Alcohol consumption appears to be a risk factor for SIDS, although it is unclear whether alcohol is an independent risk factor, a risk factor only in conjunction with other known risk factors (like co-sleeping), or a proxy for other risk factors associated with occasions when alcohol consumption increases (like smoking)," the authors write.

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