Babies Face Higher SIDS Risk in Certain States

From Drugs.com - February 12, 2018

Babies Face Higher SIDS Risk in Certain States

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) claims the lives of some 3,500 babies in the United States each year, but its toll is far heavier in some states than others, health officials report.

"Despite continued updates and refinements to the American Academy of Pediatrics' safe sleep recommendations, declines in [SIDS] have slowed since 1999," said lead researcher Alexa Erck Lambert.

"Our analysis also found that trends in [SIDS] vary by state," she added. "Although some states have experienced notable declines, wide variations in [SIDS] rates by state still exist."

Erck Lambert is with the maternal and infant health branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of reproductive health.

Although the researchers could not explain the trends, one pediatrician suggested that varying smoking rates, along with racial and ethnic differences, may be at play.

The greatest declines in SIDS rates were seen in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

On the other hand, the highest SIDS rates were found in Alaska, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Louisiana. Significant increases in SIDS cases were also seen in these states between 2000-2002 and 2013-2015.

According to Erck Lambert, infant deaths dropped sharply in the 1990s due to a campaign called Back to Sleep, which encourages parents to put their babies on their back to sleep. But since 1999 the drop in infant deaths has basically stalled.

The rate of SIDS cases dropped about 7 percent from 1999 to 2015. From 1990 to 1998, however, these deaths fell nearly 45 percent, the study authors reported.

The researchers ca not say why there are state differences or why the number of SIDS cases has flattened.

"The reasons for the trends are outside the scope of this study and impossible to tease out from vital statistics data," Erck Lambert said. "Our goal was to illuminate the trends and state variation."


Continue reading at Drugs.com »