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Sleep Med. 2014 Dec;15(12):1508-16. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

The effects of dummy/pacifier use on infant blood pressure and autonomic activity during sleep.

Author information

1
The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research and Prince Henry's Institute and Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2
The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research and Prince Henry's Institute and Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Monash Newborn, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
3
The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research and Prince Henry's Institute and Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address: rosemary.horne@monash.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dummy/pacifier use is protective for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); however, the mechanism/s for this are unknown. As impaired cardiovascular control may be the underlying cause of SIDS, we assessed the effects of dummy/pacifier use on cardiovascular control during sleep within the first 6 months of life.

METHODS:

Term infants, divided into dummy/pacifier users and non-dummy/pacifier users, were studied at 2-4 weeks (n = 27), 2-3 months (n = 35) and 5-6 months (n = 31) using daytime polysomnography. Heart rate, blood pressure (BP), heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure variability (BPV), and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) were measured in triplicate 1-2-min epochs during quiet and active sleep in the supine and prone positions.

RESULTS:

Overall, during the non-sucking periods, in the prone position, the BP was higher (10-22 mmHg) in dummy/pacifier users compared to non-users at 2-4 weeks and 5-6 months (p < 0.05 for both). HRV and BRS were higher in dummy/pacifier users compared to non-users at 2-4 weeks (p < 0.05). Active sucking increased HRV and BPV, consistent with increased sympathetic activity in dummy/pacifier users.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher BP and HRV in dummy/pacifier users indicate increased sympathetic tone, which may serve as a protective mechanism against possible hypotension leading to SIDS; however, these effects were not apparent at 2-3 months, when the risk of SIDS is highest.

KEYWORDS:

Autonomic control; Blood pressure; Dummy/pacifier; Heart rate; Infant; Sudden infant death syndrome

PMID:
25441754
DOI:
10.1016/j.sleep.2014.07.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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