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Study Suggests Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths Differ Based on Age


New research in the January 2020 Pediatrics reveals two unique subgroups of Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDs): those that happen within a week of birth, and those beyond the newborn period. Authors of the study, “Distinct Populations of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Based on Age” (published online Dec. 9), said their findings contradict suggestions that SUID lies on a continuum with common prenatal cause and, instead, support the possibility of separate underlying mechanisms within distinct periods of infant development. The researchers used computational modeling to analyze the 2003-2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Birth Cohort Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set, which included more than 41 million U.S. births and 37,624 SUID deaths, and examined the effects of a set of covariates on each group while controlling for various demographic, socioeconomic and delivery factors. They determined that sudden unexpected early neonatal deaths (days 0-6) and postperinatal SUID (days 7-365) showed significant differences in the distributions of assigned ICD-10 diagnostic code, live birth order, marital status, age of mother, birthweight and gestational length compared to postperinatal SUID deaths (days 7-364. Study authors said the two groups should be considered separate entities in future research to better determine risk factors and mechanisms behind SUID. 


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.