(HealthDay News) – Maternal alcohol-use disorder increases the risk of both sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and non-SIDS-related infant mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Pediatrics.

Colleen M. O’Leary, PhD, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues used International Classification of Diseases 9/10 codes in health, mental health, and/or drug and alcohol data sets (1983–2005) to identify mothers with an alcohol diagnosis as well as matched mothers without an alcohol diagnosis (matched for maternal age, race, and year of birth of their children). The Midwives Notification System was used to identify offspring (exposed, 21,841; comparison, 56,054).

The researchers found that there were 303 cases of SIDS and 598 cases of infant mortality excluding SIDS. A maternal alcohol diagnosis recorded during pregnancy was associated with the highest risk of SIDS (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 6.92), as was a diagnosis within one year after pregnancy (aHR, 8.61). The risk of infant deaths excluding SIDS was more than doubled with an alcohol diagnosis recorded during pregnancy (aHR, 2.35). At least 16.41% of SIDS and 3.4% of infant deaths not classified as SIDS were attributable to maternal alcohol-use disorder.

“Maternal alcohol-use disorder is a significant risk factor for SIDS and infant mortality excluding SIDS,” O’Leary and colleagues conclude.

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