Maternal and perinatal risk factors for SIDS: a novel analysis utilizing pregnancy outcome data

Eur J Pediatr. 2013 Mar;172(3):369-72. doi: 10.1007/s00431-012-1896-0. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


A number of maternal and perinatal factors to increase an infant's risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have been found in past investigations. We analysed data for potential SIDS risk factors including the presence of complications or conditions considered as detrimental to the infant's or mother's health. The data for 118 SIDS cases and 227 matched controls were obtained from a state pregnancy outcome unit. SIDS was found to be significantly more common in cases where the infant's mother was not in a relationship (i.e. divorced, separated or never married) (p = 0.005), if the infant was not the first born (p = 0.0001) and when the mother resided in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Overall, this SIDS cohort appears to display classical SIDS associations, and our findings are consistent with those from other regions. This novel epidemiological tool opens the way for a national Australia-wide study using pregnancy outcome data collected by the individual states and could be helpful in assessing maternal and fetal risk factors for other paediatric medical conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Marital Status
  • Maternal Age
  • Perinatal Care
  • Poverty Areas
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*