Document Detail

A review of the status of magnesium and related minerals in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11008928     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy. Despite recent reductions in the SIDS rate attributed to placing the baby to sleep on his back, SIDS remains the most common cause of infant mortality between 1 month and 1 year of age in developed countries. This review concerns the current state of a hypothesis (1972) that magnesium deficiency, which causes sudden death in young mammals, is the major cause of SIDS. Numerous investigators have compared the concentration of magnesium, and other minerals from soft tissues and bone in SIDS with non-SIDS controls (normal infants who died suddenly of known cause such as trauma). Because of rapid shifts of minerals during early development, SIDS and control infants must be matched for gestational and postnatal age. About 95 per cent of SIDS occurs between 1-6 months of life, with peak incidence at 2-4 months, when vitreous magnesium is high. There is little change in magnesium in the relatively inert vitreous despite extremes in dietary magnesium. All values fall within a small range, with scatter. Magnesium rapidly increases in foetal cartilage with ossification of the bone. Early in magnesium deficiency, liver magnesium may be increased or unchanged, but it does not increase during magnesium excess. Lead accumulation is increased in magnesium deficiency. Among infants with high environmental exposure to lead, those who die of SIDS rather than non-SIDS infants have the greater lead burden. Soft water with low magnesium and calcium and with high concentration of sodium have been linked to higher SIDS rates, which have been attributed to low magnesium. It is concluded that the SIDS hypothesis has neither been proved nor disproved.
J L Caddell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Magnesium research : official organ of the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0953-1424     ISO Abbreviation:  Magnes Res     Publication Date:  2000 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-03     Completed Date:  2001-01-18     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8900948     Medline TA:  Magnes Res     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  205-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5083, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Lead / metabolism
Liver / metabolism
Magnesium / metabolism*
Magnesium Deficiency / complications
Sudden Infant Death / etiology*
Vitreous Body / metabolism
Water Supply
Reg. No./Substance:
7439-92-1/Lead; 7439-95-4/Magnesium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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