Study Suggests Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths Differ Based on Age

(U.S.) – New research suggests SUID could be related to distinct periods of an infant’s development.

Research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in the January 2020 Pediatrics reveals two unique subgroups of Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDs): those that happen within a week of birth, and those beyond the newborn period.

Authors of the study, “Distinct Populations of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Based on Age” (published online Dec. 9), said their findings contradict suggestions that SUID lies on a continuum with common prenatal cause and, instead, support the possibility of separate underlying mechanisms within distinct periods of infant development.

The researchers analyzed more than 41 million U.S. births and 37,624 SUID deaths. They determined that sudden unexpected early neonatal deaths (days 0-6) and post perinatal SUID (days 7-365) showed significant differences in the distributions related to live birth order, marital status, age of mother, birth weight and gestational length compared to post perinatal SUID deaths (days 7-364).

Study authors said the two groups should be considered separate entities in future research to better determine risk factors and mechanisms behind SUID.

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