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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Oct 15;164(8 Pt 1):1464-9.

Developmental characteristics of apnea in infants who succumb to sudden infant death syndrome.

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Pediatric Sleep Unit, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.


We compared the breathing characteristics of 40 infants who subsequently died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with those of 607 healthy infants matched for sex and age. The infants were between 2 and 19 wk old at the time of recording. Compared with the control group, the infants who died of SIDS experienced significantly more frequent episodes of obstructive and mixed sleep apnea. The duration of the apneic episodes did not exceed 15 s. Moreover, the SIDS group had a greater proportion of infants with obstructive and mixed apneic episodes than did the control group. In both groups, the frequency of episodes among male infants with apnea was greater than that among female infants. After the age of 9 wk, the proportion of male infants with episodes of obstructive apnea was greater in the SIDS group than in the control group. The frequency of apneic episodes decreased with age. The rate of decrease was significantly greater in the control subjects than in the SIDS group. This finding was made mainly in male infants. The present study provides further indirect evidence for a slower maturation of respiratory control in some infants who ultimately die of SIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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