Higher Altitude May Up SIDS Risk

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Higher Altitude Linked With Higher SIDS Risk
Higher Altitude Linked With Higher SIDS Risk

(HealthDay News) — Higher altitude may up the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a new study published online May 25 in Pediatrics.

The findings are based on 393,216 Colorado infants born between 2007 and 2012. Infants of families living at an elevation of at least 8,000 feet had a SIDS risk 2.3 times higher than that of infants from families living below 6,000 feet. Although the odds were doubled, SIDS was still rare, even at higher altitudes. There were about 0.8 SIDS deaths for every 1,000 infants who lived at the highest elevations.

The researchers also found that Colorado's overall rate of SIDS fell from 1.99 per 1,000 infants before the "Back to Sleep" campaign, to 0.57 per 1,000 in the years following. Similar reductions were seen at all elevations, the researchers said.

"This is a call for further research," lead researcher David Katz, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado in Aurora, told HealthDay. "We wouldn't advocate that people abandon higher elevations based on this study." What's more, he said, even though infants living high in the mountains faced a relatively greater SIDS risk, it was still quite low.

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