Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 2006 Nov;149(5):630-633.

Sudden infant death syndrome: risk factors for infants found face down differ from other SIDS cases.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, University of Auckland, New Zealand.



To test the hypothesis that infants with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) found face down (FD) would have SIDS risk factors different from those found in other positions (non-face-down position, NFD).


We used the New Zealand Cot Death Study data, a 3-year, nationwide (1987 to 1990), case-control study. Odds ratios (univariate and multivariate) for FD (n = 154) and NFD SIDS (n = 239) were estimated separately, and statistical differences between the two groups were assessed.


Of 12 risk factors for SIDS, there were 8 with a statistically significant difference between FD and NFD infants. After adjustment for the potential confounders, younger infant age, Maori ethnicity, low birth weight, prone sleep position, use of a sheepskin, and pillow use were all associated with a greater risk of SIDS in the FD than the NFD group. Sleeping during the nighttime, maternal smoking, and bed-sharing were associated with a risk of SIDS only in the NFD group. Pacifier use was associated with a decreased risk for SIDS only in the NFD group, whereas being found with the head covered was associated with a decreased risk for SIDS for the FD group.


Infants with SIDS in the FD position appear to be a distinct subgroup of SIDS. These differences in risk factors provide clues to mechanisms of death in both SIDS subtypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center