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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Feb;96(2):191-4.

Why do ALTE infants not die in SIDS?

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Department of Woman and Child, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.



To compare known risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) amongst infants with apparent life threatening events (ALTE) with their matched controls, and ALTE infants who subsequently died of SIDS with infants surviving an ALTE.


Questionnaires with replies were obtained from 58 ALTE infants and 56 sex and age matched ALTE control infants. 244 SIDS cases and 868 SIDS controls were used as comparison.


The incidence of ALTE was found to be 1.9% among SIDS controls, but 7.4% among infants who later on died of SIDS. The parents sought medical advice in 0.9% vs 3.7%. ALTE infants did not differ from their matched controls. In the ALTE group 13.3% of the survivors had the combination of prone sleeping and maternal smoking compared with 33.3% of those who became SIDS victims.


Our results show some major differences between the ALTE infants and SIDS victims not supporting that these conditions belong to the same entity. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that there is a subpopulation of ALTE infants who did not die in SIDS due to that they were sleeping on the back and not exposed to nicotine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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