Document Detail

What is the mechanism of SIDS? Clues from epidemiology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19224543     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is unknown. Many mechanisms have been postulated, although thermal stress, rebreathing of expired gases and infection/inflammation seem the most viable hypotheses for the causation of SIDS. Deaths from SIDS have reduced dramatically following the recommendation not to place infants to sleep prone. Epidemiological data have shown that prone sleeping position is more risky in winter, colder latitudes, higher altitudes, if the infant is unwell or has excessive bedding or clothing. This suggests prone sleeping position involves either directly or indirectly a thermal mechanism. SIDS caused by an infective/inflammatory mechanism might be associated with deaths occurring during the night. Rebreathing of expired gases, airway obstruction, long QT syndrome and other genetic conditions may explain a small number of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy.
Edwin A Mitchell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental psychobiology     Volume:  51     ISSN:  1098-2302     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Psychobiol     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-03-16     Completed Date:  2009-07-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0164074     Medline TA:  Dev Psychobiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  215-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Airway Obstruction / complications,  epidemiology
Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
Infection / complications,  epidemiology
Inflammation / complications,  epidemiology
Long QT Syndrome / complications,  epidemiology
Oxygen / blood
Prone Position / physiology
Risk Factors
Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*,  etiology*
Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Tobacco Smoke Pollution; 7782-44-7/Oxygen
Comment In:
Dev Psychobiol. 2009 Apr;51(3):213-4   [PMID:  19206137 ]

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