Prospective assessment of recurrence risk in sudden infant death syndrome siblings

J Pediatr. 1984 Mar;104(3):349-51. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(84)81093-8.


Knowledge of the likelihood of a repetition of sudden infant death syndrome within a sibship, particularly in the next sibling, is important to parents. Methodologic considerations with respect to the studies of recurrence risk already published indicate that the rates reported are overestimates. This suspicion is confirmed by our study based on 826,162 infants surviving the first week of life on file in the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. A total of 1062 (1.3 per 1,000) infants died of SIDS; five deaths occurred as the second case in a family. The recurrence risk for the nextborn sibling was 5.6 per 1000, and for all subsequent siblings 4.8 per 1000, which would seem encouragingly low from a counseling point of view.

MeSH terms

  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Norway
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*