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Int J Epidemiol. 1996 Apr;25(2):366-75.

Sudden infant death syndrome: insulation from bedding and clothing and its effect modifiers. The National Cot Death Study Group.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thermal stress related to excessive insulation from bedding and clothing has been postulated to be associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

METHODS:

The parents of 393 (81%) of the infants who died of SIDS in the post neonatal period were interviewed at home. Interviews were also completed with the parents of 1592 (88.4% of total) controls, a representative sample of all hospital births. The study was conducted in regions of the North and South Island of New Zealand in which 78% of all New Zealand births occurred in 1987-1990. Temperatures for the infant's bedroom estimated from the outside temperature and a model were used to predict the appropriate insulation for lower critical temperature (temperature below which the metabolic rate is likely to increase).

RESULTS:

Sudden infant death syndrome was associated with extra thermal insulation of > 2 tog above the lower critical value, the odds ratio (OR) was 1.70 (95% confidence interval [Cl] : 1.3-2.20) after adjusting for season. After adjusting for a number of confounding factors the CR was reduced to 1.35 (95% Cl: 0.97-1.87). Also associated with SIDS was too little thermal insulation OR = 1.67(95% Cl: 1.13-2.48; and 2.63 (95% Cl: 1.61-4.30) when adjustments were made for the confounding factors. The interaction effect between infants sleeping prone and >2 tog extra thermal insulation was significant (OR = 6.07, 95% Cl: 3.83-9.60). Infants with too little thermal insulation were at increased risk if they were not tightly wrapped (OR = 3.81, 95% Cl: 2.04-7.09). There were also small additive interaction effects if the mother smoked and the infants had > 2 tog extra thermal insulation, or they were ill and had > 4 tog extra insulation. Interaction effects between thermal insulation and other factors were not significant.

CONCLUSION:

More thermal insulation than was necessary to maintain the lower critical temperature increased the risk of SIDS primarily among infants in the prone sleep position, and to a lesser degree in infants whose mothers smoked and in infants who were unwell.

PMID:
9119562
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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