Sudden unexpected infant deaths in Dundee, 1882-1891: overlying or SIDS?

F L R Williams, G A Lang, D T Mage

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Using a cohort study, of all deaths in infants under 12 months in Dundee born between 1882-91 we set out to compare the aetiology of sudden unexpected infant in Dundee at the end of the 19th Century with the aetiology of present day Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). During. 1882-1891. During infants died suddenly and unexpectedly and without obvious cause while in bed with their parent. The sex ratio of deaths was even (0.51 mate) whereas the radical male fraction of SIDS today is 0.6 . The mean age at death was almost two and one-half weeks younger in the Dundee cohort than for SIDS in modern Scotland. The infants in the Dundee cohort were discovered more frequently early in the morning than is typical. Their social class distribution was different in that no overlying cases were found in the higher classes whereas SIDS affects all classes. The overlying rate for illegitimate infants was letter than that reported for SIDS today. The epidemiological characteristics of the Dundee cohort and of those dying from present day SIDS differ considerably The Dundee cohort apparently died from overlying rather than from SIDS as it is classified today. Present day advice that co-sleeping is safe should be given more cautiously until the safety of co-sleeping is resolved. It might be prudent to inform patients that co-sleeping is a risk factor for SIDS and that it should therefore be at avoided.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-47
    Number of pages5
    JournalScottish Medical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


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