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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2005 Jun 4;149(23):1273-8.

[Epidemiology of 25 years of crib death (sudden infant death syndrome) in the Netherlands; incidence of crib death and prevalence of risk factors in 1980-2004].

[Article in Dutch]

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Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, Voorburg.



To describe the prevalence of risk factors and the incidence of cot death (sudden infant death syndrome; SIDS) in the Netherlands during the last 25 years.




The incidence of cot death/SIDS in infants aged 7-365 days in 1980-2004 was derived from Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics. The prevalence of risk factors for cot death/SIDS in the general population was derived from national surveys of baby clinics (0-9 months; 1985-2004) and studies of cot death/SIDS victims (0-23 months; 1984-1991 and 1996/'04).


The prevalence of the following risk factors for cot death/SIDS has decreased: primary prone sleeping position (from 60% to 8%), the use of a duvet (from 85% to 18%), maternal smoking (from 34% to 20%), paternal smoking (from 48% to 32%). The prevalence of routine bed-sharing with a parent increased from nearly 0% to 5%. The registered incidence of cot death/SIDS per 100,000 live births decreased from 103 in 1986 to < 15 in 2003 and 2004. The incidence of cot deaths/SIDS that occurred during habitual bed-sharing with a parent, in a playpen, in child-care settings, or in a secondary prone sleeping position increased.


The incidence of cot death/SIDS and the prevalence of known risk factors for cot death/SIDS has decreased. New risk factors have emerged in recent years. Considering the evolving conditions of infant care, an ongoing study on the special features of child care and the factors involved in cases of cot death/SIDS is warranted. This knowledge is essential for periodic adaptation of the national prevention programme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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