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J Paediatr Child Health. 1992;28 Suppl 1:S3-8.

Four modifiable and other major risk factors for cot death: the New Zealand study.

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Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


New Zealand's high mortality rate from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) prompted the development of the New Zealand Cot Death Study. A report of the analysis of the data from the first year has been published. This report now gives the major identified risk factors from the full 3 year data set. In this case-control study there were 485 infants who died from SIDS in the post-neonatal age group, and 1800 control infants, who were a representative sample of all hospital births in the study region. Obstetric records were examined and parental interviews were completed in 97.5% and 86.9% of subjects, respectively. As expected many risk factors for SIDS were confirmed including: lower socio-economic status, unmarried mother, young mother, younger school-leaving age of mother, younger age of mother at first pregnancy, late attendance at antenatal clinic, non-attendance at antenatal classes, Maori, greater number of previous pregnancies, the further south the domicile, winter, low birthweight, short gestation, male infant and admission to a special care baby unit. In addition, however, we identified four risk factors that are potentially amenable to modification.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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