Although significant improvements were made regarding infant deaths attributable to sudden unexpected infant death between 1990 and 1998, rates decreased by only 7% in the U.S. since 1999, according to research published in Pediatrics.
“Knowledge of recent national and state trends of sudden unexpected infant death can help measure progress toward to Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing sudden unexpected infant deaths to 84 per 100,000 live births,” Alexa B. Erck Lambert, MPH, from the DB Consulting Group, Inc, and colleagues wrote. Understanding how state-level data compare with this goal may help programs make critical decisions about resource allocation for prevention activities.”
To inspect rates of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), unknown causes of death and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB), and to compare state-specific rates of SUID, the researchers analyzed data collected from mortality files created between 1990 and 2015. Both national and state-specific rates were assessed.
Infants considered to have experienced SUID were those who had an underlying cause of death, SIDS, unknown causes of death or ASSB. The percent change of SUID rates and SUID subtypes was calculated by fitting Poisson regression models, and state differences in SUID rates from 2000-2002 and 2013-2015 were reported and compared.
The rate of SUID declined between 1990 (154.6 per 100,000 live births) and 2015 (92.4 per 100,000 live births). Between 1990 and 1998, the rate of SUID fell by 44.6%, but only 7% between 1999 and 2015; however, rates of SIDS during this time decreased 35.8% and ASSB rose 183.8%. Unknown causes of death did not change substantially.
When state rates of SUID were compared, a range was observed between 41.5 and 184.3 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 2002. This range became more dramatic between 2013 and 2015 (33.2 to 202.2 per 100,000 live births).
“The reasons some states experienced success in significantly decreasing SUID rates and others did not are likely multifaceted,” Lambert and colleagues wrote. “There are a wide range of state strategies being used to reduce SUID, including but not limited to policies in facilities and clinics, Safe-to-Sleep campaigns, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children messaging, home-visiting programs and quality improvement collaboratives at birthing hospitals.” – by Katherine Bortz
Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.