(Received 24 January 2004; accepted 2 September 2004)
Published Online: January
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We present a study of 102 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths using a retrospective review of medical examiner autopsy reports. The prevalence of sleep related risk factors with regards to sleep surface, sleep position, and co-sleeping were determined in a population of infants less than 1-year-old. Of the 102 SIDS deaths, 67 (65.7%) were not in a crib, 63 (61.8%) were prone, and 48 (47.1%) were co-sleeping. However, 94 (92.2%) of these deaths had at least one risk factor present. Only 8 (7.8%) infants had slept alone, in a crib or bassinet, and on their back or side. Infants less than 4-months-old had a higher rate of co-sleeping (54.7%) than the older infants (25.9%), and a higher frequency of heart malformations at post-mortem examination. The older infants were more likely to exhibit pulmonary and tracheal inflammation, and neuropathology.
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, NC
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Stock #: JFS2004030