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Guarding kids from SIDS.

We hope that few, if any, of our readers are addicted to smoking. Nevertheless, we think that the better informed you are about its dangers, the better you can help combat the problem among family, friends, and the community.

The latest word on the subject comes from the National Center for Health Statistics in the December 1992 issue of Pediatrics. Previous studies have shown that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is more common among infants born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. This latest study shows that babies exposed only to passive smoke after birth are twice as likely to die from SIDS than infants never exposed. If their mothers smoked both during and after pregnancy, the risk was three times as high.

The study's authors analyzed data on 10,000 normal birth weight infants and 6,000 infant deaths. They divided the babies into three groups: those whose mothers smoked during and after pregnancy; those exposed to smoke only after birth (passive smoking); and those not exposed at all. In addition, the authors compared the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by the mothers in the first two groups. The daily consumption of cigarettes was less in the second group versus that of the first. SIDS was also more common among babies born to younger mothers and to mothers with lower educational levels.

Past evidence linking passive smoking and childhood illness, particularly respiratory disease, led the researchers to look into the role of postnatal smoke exposure in SIDS risk. Their findings, they say, "are further inducement to encourage smoking cessation among pregnant women and families with children."
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Title Annotation:sudden infant death syndrome
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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