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Acta Paediatr. 2007 Oct;96(10):1399-403. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Bed-sharing in the first four months of life: a risk factor for sudden infant death.

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1
Leiden University Medical Center, Reviuslaan 38, 2343 JR Oegstgeest, The Netherlands. jruys@hccnet.nl

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the risk of sudden infant death in the Netherlands during bed-sharing in the first half year of life and the protective effect of breastfeeding on it.

METHODS:

During a 10-year period between September 1996 and September 2006 nationwide, 213 cot deaths were investigated.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

Of 138 cot deaths of less than 6 months of age, 36 (26%) bed-shared. In a reference group of 1628 babies from infant welfare centres only 9.4% were bed-sharing in the night prior to the interview. After correction for smoking of one or both parents the odds ratio for cot death during bed-sharing with parents decreased with age from 9.1 (CI 4.2-19.4) at 1 month, to 4.0 (CI 2.3-6.7) at 2 months, to 1.7 (CI 0.9-3.4) at 3 months and to 1.3 (CI 1.0-1.6) at 4 through 5 months of age. The excess risk (OR > 1) associated with bed-sharing is itself not significantly influenced by the presence or absence of breastfeeding.

CONCLUSION:

Bed-sharing is a serious risk factor for sudden infant death for all babies of less than 4 months of age. From 4 months onwards bed-sharing did not contribute significantly to the risk of cot death anymore in our study.

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