Journal Published Online: 01 January 2005
Volume 50, Issue 1

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Risk Factors with Regards to Sleep Position, Sleep Surface, and Co-Sleeping



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.

Author Information

Alexander, RT
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Radisch, D
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, NC
Pages: 5
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS2004030
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004030