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Soc Sci Med. 1989;29(8):1015-26.

Sudden infant deaths in Tasmania, 1980-1986: a seven year prospective study.

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Department of Geography, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.


This investigation was carried out by questionnaire to parents of SIDS cases and two controls for each case and aimed to follow up the fact that Tasmania has been shown to have an unusually high rate of this cause of death. Both chi 2 and relative risk calculations were employed. The high rate of SIDS of the 1970s has been confirmed in this series in the 1980s. Many of the epidemiological findings are closely in line with those found internationally. Of particular usefulness are new indications which lie within parental choice; cigarette smoking by parents leading to passive smoking by the baby carries a high relative risk (RR = 3.0, P less than 0.001) as does sleeping in the prone position (RR = 1.9, P less than 0.01) as against sleeping in a lateral position. Tenants of Housing Department homes are at raised risk of SIDS (RR = 2.6, P = 0.001). Density of persons within the home also raises the risks to babies (P less than 0.001) and a well ventilated bedroom lowers the risk (P less than 0.001).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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