Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Research Paper

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remains the leading cause of post-neonatal mortality (under the age of one) in developed countries. The causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have been puzzling and research is being conducted to solve this catastrophic problem. Having a child under the age of one makes me very concerned, along with any other parent(s), that the possibility of SIDS could affect any infant at anytime, SIDS does not discriminate. I am seeking to find the possible causes to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome so in the future deaths could be avoided.

Researchers have studied the many possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and four have been selected for this paper.

The first study addressed the effects of an infant’s sleeping position and other prenatal risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The SIDS victims were matched with four control groups of the same gender, age and place of birth.
The second study researched the possible correlation between the brain weights of SIDS victims at death to those infants that died of other causes, only when the brain had not been damaged. The study took place between the years of 1980 and 2003 within the same local population.

In the third study medical and demographic characteristics where analyzed among infants that were 24 to 32 week’s gestation weighing 500 to 2500 grams of SIDS victims and non SIDS victims. The researchers attempted to find a correlation between the two groups of preterm infants.

The fourth study was conducted to investigate a possible correlation between the postnatal growths preceding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In this particular study the victims of SIDS were matched with two controls of the same age. The research was collected by parental interview review of medical records and body weights.

Finally, I will review the findings, compare the four studies and illustrate my conclusions and provide my personal synthesis. I hope to gain knowledge and insight into the possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

First Study Summary
SIDS and Sleeping Position and Prenatal Care
Oyen, N., Markestad, T., Skaerven, R., Irgens, L.M., Helweh-Larsen, K., Alm, B., Norvenius, G., Wennergren, G. (1998). Combined Effects of Sleeping Position and Prenatal Risk Factors in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: The Nordic Epidemiological SIDS Study. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 21, 614-621.

The objective of this correlational, structured interview study was to find a correlation between infants who slept in the prone/side sleeping position or in the supine sleeping position and the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The researchers also examined a correlation between the prenatal risk factors and the incidences of SIDS.

The researcher collected a sample of 244 SIDS cases and 869 controls in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. All the SIDS diagnosis were confirmed by the same forensic pathologist for accuracy. Four control groups were selected with the criteria of sameness in gender, age and place of birth.
Between the years of 1992 to 1995 the parents of the SIDS victims completed a questionnaire inquired as to the potential risk factors of SIDS. The questions on the questionnaire were regarding the sleeping position (independent variable) of the infant and prenatal information (independent variable) prior to death due to SIDS (dependent variable).

The results found a high risk factor in prone and side sleeping in infants 13 to 24 weeks old and that the risk for prone sleeping was higher in girls than it was for boys. Also, the incidence of SIDS was higher in prone and side sleeping positions than supine sleeping position. The incidence of SIDS was found to be greater in infants of low birth weight and that were considered preterm. Additionally, infants who experienced intrauterine retarded growth showed a higher risk for SIDS when slept in the prone and side positions as compared to supine position.

Second Study Summary
SIDS and Brain Weight
Kadhim, Hazim (2005). Incongruent Cerebral Growth in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Journal of Child Neurology, 20, 244-246.

The objective of this correlational study was to find a correlation between the weight of the brain at the time of death and the incidence of SIDS. In addition the researchers examined the relationship between brain growth and head circumference.

The authors/researchers began with one hundred twenty brains that