Barbara M. Ostfeld
A study published by the New Jersey chapter of the AAP demonstrates that infants born to either U.S.- or foreign-born Asian Indian mothers in New Jersey have low rates of sudden unexpected infant death. Although bedsharing is a prominent practice in this community, researchers observed several sleep and demographic characteristics that may lessen rates of infant mortality.
“This study has a paradoxical finding,” Barbara M. Ostfeld, PhD, professor in the department of pediatrics and program director of the SIDS Center of New Jersey at the Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “A possible explanation [for these findings] is that this population also has the highest use of supine sleep, a risk-reducing behavior, and is least likely to smoke or use alcohol. Both behaviors elevate the risk associated with bedsharing.”
Ostfeld and colleagues examined the rate of SUID and associated sleep practices in Asian Indians residing within New Jersey between 2000 and 2015. The researchers noted that Asian Indians are the largest subgroup of the Asian population within this area. Once these rates and practices were identified, the researchers compared this information with relevant information from other population groups, the use of safe sleep practices and whether differences existed between U.S.- and foreign-born Asian Indian mothers.
Although rates of SUID were lowest among Asian Indian mothers, those who were born in the U.S. had no recorded SUID deaths. The incidence of crib use was higher among U.S.-born mothers (97%) compared with that of foreign-born mothers (69%). The researchers noted that 87.5% of U.S.-born Asian Indians placed their children in a supine sleep position for their infants, a “uniquely high rate” compared with all other groups.
Although foreign-born Asian Indian mothers were most likely to bedshare, 76.5% of these mothers also implemented supine sleep positions for their infants. Ostfeld and colleagues observed lower rates of SUID in infants born to foreign-born mothers when compared with white, black and Hispanic infants.
“The study also demonstrates continued support for the evidence-based AAP guidance about bedsharing as a risk. When Asian Indian populations are separated into foreign and U.S.-born mothers, the latter are much less likely to bedshare and have an even lower rate of SUID compared to the already low rate in the group with foreign-born mothers,” Ostfeld said.
Ostfeld mentioned that she and her colleagues are conducting further studies to identify specific characteristics associated with bedsharing in this population. – by Katherine Bortz
Ostfeld BM, et al. New Jersey Pediatrics. 2018; Summer. www.njaap.org. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.