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Acta Paediatr Jpn. 1994 Jun;36(3):329-32.

Epidemiology of sudden infant death syndrome in Japan.

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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan.


An epidemiological survey was carried out to examine the present situation with respect to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in Kanagawa Prefecture. Questionnaires on sudden unexpected death of infants aged < 1 year in 1990-91 were sent to the hospitals and clinics in Kanagawa Prefecture which may take care of such infants. By analysing information from 10,485 replies, 48 out of 73 reported sudden infant deaths were confirmed to be SIDS, although autopsy was not performed in 13 cases (27%). The incidence of SIDS per 1000 live births in Kanagawa Prefecture was 0.29 in 1990 and 0.31 in 1991; and if limited to autopsy cases 0.19 and 0.25, respectively. Sudden infant death syndrome cases in Japan were found to occur more frequently when infants were < 6 months old, at home and sleeping alone, but less in the winter and between midnight and early morning. There was little difference between the numbers in prone and supine sleeping positions at discovery. It was not clear whether SIDS occurred more often to babies sleeping prone than supine, because there were no controls matched with the SIDS cases. In future, continuous epidemiological surveys of SIDS in Japan should be carried out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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