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J Forensic Leg Med. 2012 Nov;19(8):455-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

A re-audit of the use of definitions of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in peer-reviewed literature.

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Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, The University of Adelaide, Level 3 Medical School North Building, Frome Road, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.


The use of different definitions of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may make comparison of data among studies difficult. Fifty randomly selected papers dealing with SIDS that were published between 2010 and 2011 in peer-reviewed journals were reviewed to determine whether one of three internationally accepted definitions of SIDS had been either written in the text or referenced. A significant improvement in the use of definitions has occurred since 2005, with the percentage of papers either quoting or referencing a standard definition increasing by 26%, from 42 to 68%. The 1989 NICHD definition remained the most commonly used definition (35.1%) followed by the 2004 San Diego definition (26.3%). Although the percentage of papers where either no definition was provided or where an idiosyncratic or mis-cited definition was used fell 26%, from 58 to 32%, nearly one in three papers published on SIDS in peer-reviewed journals that were included in this study still did not cite a standard definition.

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