Intended for healthcare professionals


Cot deaths

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 07 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:7

The incidence of sudden infant death syndrome in Britain has fallen dramatically since the government started its “back to sleep” campaign in 1991. Other countries have also run education campaigns. In France the incidence is still rising, while in New Zealand the risk of cot deaths among the Maoris is nearly eight times that of non-Maoris. In Israel the incidence among Arabs is twice as high as among Jews. In some countries cot death is not seen as a problem. It is rare in Hong Kong, and in India infection is the main cause of infant death. But all countries suffer from unreliable data, often because the religious beliefs of parents make it impossible for doctors to carry out necropsies.

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