Editorials

Risk factors for SIDS

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3466 (Published 14 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3466
  1. Edwin A Mitchell, professor of child health research
  1. 1University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. e.mitchell{at}auckland.ac.nz

    We already know enough, the challenge is how to change behaviour

    In the linked study (doi:10.1136/bmj.b3666), Blair and colleagues report on a four year case-control study of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in south west England.1 The number of cases in the study is small, as a result of two factors. Firstly, the recommendation to avoid the prone sleeping position in the “Back to Sleep” campaign resulted in a dramatic reduction in mortality from SIDS in the early 1990s.2 Secondly, the change from the side to the back sleeping position led to the subsequent slower decline in mortality from SIDS.3 However, the study did come up with several important findings.

    The study used two control groups—a random control group and a high risk group. The risk factors were similar whichever group the SIDS cases were compared with. This is important because it indicates that risk factors for SIDS apply to all sections of the community and are not just …

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