Four modifiable and other major risk factors for cot death: the New Zealand study

J Paediatr Child Health. 1992;28 Suppl 1:S3-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1992.tb02729.x.


New Zealand's high mortality rate from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) prompted the development of the New Zealand Cot Death Study. A report of the analysis of the data from the first year has been published. This report now gives the major identified risk factors from the full 3 year data set. In this case-control study there were 485 infants who died from SIDS in the post-neonatal age group, and 1800 control infants, who were a representative sample of all hospital births in the study region. Obstetric records were examined and parental interviews were completed in 97.5% and 86.9% of subjects, respectively. As expected many risk factors for SIDS were confirmed including: lower socio-economic status, unmarried mother, young mother, younger school-leaving age of mother, younger age of mother at first pregnancy, late attendance at antenatal clinic, non-attendance at antenatal classes, Maori, greater number of previous pregnancies, the further south the domicile, winter, low birthweight, short gestation, male infant and admission to a special care baby unit. In addition, however, we identified four risk factors that are potentially amenable to modification.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cause of Death
  • Child, Preschool
  • Climate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Maternal Age
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Posture
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Social Class
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*