Immunisation and the sudden infant death syndrome. New Zealand Cot Death Study Group

Arch Dis Child. 1995 Dec;73(6):498-501. doi: 10.1136/adc.73.6.498.


Aims: To examine the relation between immunisation and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Methods: A large nationwide case-control study. Parental held records were used to measure immunisation status.

Results: Infants were at increased risk of SIDS if they had not received the 6 week, 3 month, and 5 month immunisations. After controlling for potential confounding variables, including those which measured health care use and infant illness, the relative risk of SIDS for infants not being immunised at 6 weeks was 2.1 (95% confidence interval = 1.2, 3.5). Four percent of cases died within four days of immunisation and 7.6% of control infants had been immunised within four days of the nominated date. There was a reduced chance of SIDS in the four days immediately following immunisation (OR = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.2 to 0.9).

Conclusions: Immunisation does not increase the risk of SIDS and may even lower the risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Immunization*
  • Infant
  • New Zealand
  • Risk Factors
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*
  • Sudden Infant Death / prevention & control
  • Time Factors