Distribution and Incidence

The vast majority of reported and published SIDS cases come from countries and continents in the Earth's temperate zones (e.g., the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Israel) (Golding et al. 1985; Culbertson, Krous, and Bendell, eds. 1988; Guntheroth 1989; Irgens, Skjaerven, and Lie 1989; Lee et al. 1989). But SIDS occurs worldwide, in countries in tropical and frigid zones, in the mountains and at sea level (Golding et al. 1985; Culbertson et al. 1988; Guntheroth 1989). SIDS tends to receive less attention in countries with high infant death rates from problems such as infectious diseases and malnutrition. Autopsies are rarely performed on adults, much less on children, in these countries, making it almost impossible scientifically to label a sudden infant death as SIDS (Bergman 1986). SIDS becomes a significant factor in a country when the infant death rate approaches approximately 15 per 1,000 live births. The lower the death rate from other causes of infant mortality, the higher the proportion of deaths from SIDS (Culbertson et al. 1988).

The occurrence of SIDS has probably not changed much over the centuries around the world (Bergman 1986; Culbertson et al. 1988). Rates range generally from 1.5 to 3.5 cases per 1,000 live births per year, though the incidence varies from country to country. It is difficult to compare these rates because of differences in the way each study team obtains and analyzes its data (Culbertson et al. 1988). In the United States, SIDS rates have ranged from 1.2 to 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. The range is higher in Britain (2.1 to 4.0) and the Antipodes (New Zealand and Australia) (1.6 to 4.1), and lower on the European continent (0.5 to 2.7), in Israel (0.3 to 0.7), Japan (0.5 to 1.2), and Hong Kong (0.036 to 0.3) (Golding et al. 1985; Culbertson et al. 1988; Guntheroth 1989; Irgens et al. 1989; Lee et al. 1989).

SIDS accounts for approximately 6,000 to 7,000 infant deaths per year in the United States (Bergman 1986). It is the greatest killer of infants between 1 month and 1 year of life (Culbertson et al. 1988).

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment