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Cult Med Psychiatry. 1994 Mar;18(1):23-59.

Ethnomedical pathogenesis and Hmong immigrants' sudden nocturnal deaths.

Author information

  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco.

Abstract

Scores of seemingly healthy Hmong immigrants have died mysteriously and without warning from what has come to be known as Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS). To date medical research has provided no adequate explanation for these sudden deaths. This study is an investigation into the role of powerful traditional beliefs in illness causation. In Stockton, California, 118 Hmong men and women were interviewed regarding their awareness of and personal experience with a traditional nocturnal spirit encounter. An analysis of this data reveals that the supranormal encounter acts as a trigger for Hmong SUNDS.

PMID:
8082318
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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