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SIDS spikes on New Year's Day
Date:12/15/2010

Not a happy holiday thought, but an important one: The number of babies who die of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, surges by 33 percent on New Year's Day. The suspected reason? Alcohol consumption by caretakers the night before.

Led by sociologist David Phillips of the University of California, San Diego, the study documenting the dramatic rise in SIDS deaths on New Year's is published in the journal Addiction. The spike, write Phillips and his coauthors, is beyond the normal winter increase in SIDS.

The study examined 129,090 SIDS cases from 1973 to 2006 using three multiyear nationwide datasets: computerized death certificates, the linked birth and infant death dataset, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The authors say it is the first, large-scale U.S. study to explore possible connections between alcohol and SIDS.

Though SIDS has decreased significantly since the 1994 implementation of the "Back to Sleep" campaign, which urges caregivers to put infants on their backs to sleep, among other "safe-sleep" recommendations, SIDS continues to be the leading cause of death for children aged 1 month to 1 year. Also known as "crib death" and "cot death" because it strikes seemingly healthy babies in their sleep, SIDS is usually ruled the cause of death only when other causes are ruled out.

Phillips and his coauthors found three types of evidence linking SIDS to alcohol. In addition to rising, just like alcohol consumption, more on New Year's than at any other day of the year, SIDS and alcohol consumption also increase every weekend. And the SIDS death rate is abnormally high for children of alcohol-consuming mothers: Babies of mothers who drink are more than twice as likely to die of SIDS.

The study also found a rise in SIDS just after April 20 (or 4/20), a counterculture celebration of cannabis, and after July 4, which is also known as an inebriated time, though the rise on neither of these dates
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Contact: Inga Kiderra
ikiderra@ucsd.edu
858-822-0661
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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