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June, 2007

Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
October, 2006

      In Focus Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

  Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of post neonatal mortality in the United States, where approximately 3,000 infants die each year from SIDS. In most cases, infants appear healthy before succumbing to SIDS. Great progress has been achieved in understanding SIDS and reducing the number of deaths caused by this tragic disorder. Less than a decade ago, almost twice as many American infants were dying of SIDS than is the case today.
  Although SIDS rates have declined in all populations throughout the United States during the last decade, disparities in SIDS rates and in the prevalence of risk factors remain evident in certain groups.  The SIDS rate among American Indians (1.5 per 1,000) and African Americans (1.4 per 1,000) remains more than twice that of whites (0.6 per 1,000).  In contrast, infants born to Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander mothers have among the lowest SIDS rates (0.4 per 1,000).

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  red square Babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.
  red square Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy and babies that are exposed to passive smoke after birth.
  red square Babies born to mothers who are less than 20 years old at the time of their first pregnancy.
  red square Babies born to mothers who had no or late prenatal care.
  red square Babies who are premature or low birth weight.
  red square Babies who are placed to sleep on soft surfaces such as soft mattresses, sofas, sofa cushions, waterbeds, sheep skins, or other soft surfaces.
  red square Babies who are placed to sleep in an environment containing fluffy and loose bedding, such as pillows, quilts or other coverings, stuffed toys, and other soft items.

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  While there is currently no way to predict which babies will die from SIDS, there are ways to lower the risk of SIDS:
  blue square Place babies to sleep on their backs, unless advised otherwise by a physician.
  blue square Place the baby on a firm mattress, such as in a safety-approved crib or other firm surface.
  blue square Remove all fluffy and loose bedding, such as fluffy blankets or other coverings, pillows, quilts, and stuffed toys, from the baby’s sleep area.
  blue square Get good prenatal care, including proper nutrition, no maternal smoking or drug/alcohol use, and frequent medical check-ups beginning early in pregnancy.
  blue square Take babies for regular well-baby check-ups and routine immunizations.

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  CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
    Eliminate Disparities in Infant Mortality
  CDC's Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Home
  CDC's Reproductive Health Home
  CDC Reproductive Health Information Source
  Surveillance and Research: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
National Vaccine Program Office Fact Sheets (NVPO)
  Facts About SIDS
National Immunization Program (NIP)
  SIDS and Vaccination
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
  Infant Mortality Statistics from the 1999 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set
  SIDS Deaths Reach New Record Low in 1997, but Disparities Persist for Minority Communities
  Health United States, 2004. Table 22: Infant Mortality Rates,1950-2002
  Office of Communication (OC)
  Study Identifies SIDS Risk Factors Among American Indian Infants
  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
Assessment of Infant Sleeping Position -- Selected States, 1996
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Infant Mortality Rates --- 60 Largest U.S. Cities, 1995--1998
Perspectives in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Premature Mortality due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Decrease in Infant Mortality and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Among Northwest American Indians and Alaskan Natives -- Pacific Northwest, 1985-1996
Current Trends Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as a Cause of Premature Mortality United States, 1984 and 1985
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome -- United States, 1983-1994
MMWR Weekly, October 11, 1996 / 45(40);859-863
Infant Mortality and Low Birth Weight Among Black and White Infants --- United States, 1980--2000
Type of Certifier and Autopsy Rates for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome -- Washington, 1980-1994
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome -- United States, 1980-1988
Seasonality in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome -- United States, 1980-1987
Indian Health Service (IHS)
  Study Identifies SIDS Risk Factors Among American Indian Infants (December 3, 2002)
  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD)
  "Back to Sleep" Campaign
  Babies Sleep Safest on Their Backs: Reduce the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  Targeting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): A Strategic Plan
  SIDS Fact Sheet
Medline Plus: SIDS
First Candle/SIDS Alliance

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