Born Too Soon, Too Small

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international studies reporting thatSIDS risk was lower among infants putto bed with a pacifier and reinforcedearlier findings that sleeping on a sofaalso increases infants risk of SIDS.The researchers studied all infantsfrom the ages of birth to one year whohad died of SIDS in Chicago, IL,between November 1993 and April1996. There were 260 SIDS deaths dur-ing that time.The SIDS rate for African Americanbabies is more than twice that forwhite infants, according to experts.The research is part of the ChicagoInfant Mortality Study, designed toidentify risk factors for SIDS that placeAfrican American infants at roughlydouble the SIDS risk of Caucasians.Earlier findings of the study appear athttp://www.nichd.nih.gov/new/releases/infant_sids.cfm.The researchers compared informa-tion about each SIDS case to informa-tion about a control infanta livinginfant of comparable age, who wasfrom the same racial and/or ethnicgroup and who had a similar birthweight. All of the SIDS deaths wereevaluated by the Cook County MedicalExaminers Office; autopsies had beenconducted to rule out other causes ofdeath. Death scene investigators con-ducted interviews about circumstancessurrounding the deaths. Theresearchers used the NICHD defini-tion of SIDS: the sudden death of aninfant under one year of age, whichremains unexplained after a thoroughcase investigation, including perform-ance of a complete autopsy, examina-tion of the death scene, and review ofthe clinical history.Infants who died of SIDS were 5.4times more likely to have shared a bedwith other children than were the con-trol infants. Sleeping with the motheralone or mother and father was associ-ated with an increased risk of SIDS,but this finding was not statisticallysignificant. The study concluded therisk was primarily associated with bed212 AWHONN Lifelines Volume 7 Issue 3Born Too Soon,Too SmallEach week in the U.S.: 8,985 babies are born pre-term 1,491 babies are born very pre-term 5,904 babies are born low birth weight 1,115 babies are born very low birth weight In 2000, 467,201 babies were born pre-term, representing 12 percent ofthe 4,058,814 births in the U.S. Between 1990 and 2000, the rate of infants born pre-term in the U.S.increased more than 9 percent The rate of pre-term birth in the U.S. is highest for African Americans(17.4 percent), followed by Native Americans (12.6 percent), Whites(10.6 percent) and Asians (10.2 percent) The rate of pre-term birth in the U.S. among Hispanics is 11.4 percent.People who are Hispanic may be of any race In the U.S., infants born to mothers less than age 20 or over 35 years aremore likely to be pre-term than infants born to mothers aged 20 to 35 Some risk factors for pre-term birth and low birth weight include previ-ous pre-term and/or lowbirth-weight birth, multiple birth, smoking,unplanned pregnancy, infections and poor nutritionPrematurity Then & Now 0%2%4%6%8%10%12%14%Pre-term Low Birth Weight19902000Healthy People 2010 GoalSources: U.S. Center for Health Statistics, March of Dimes' Prematurity Campaign