Seasonality of birth in sudden infant death syndrome

Scott Med J. 1996 Apr;41(2):39-43. doi: 10.1177/003693309604100203.


The objective was to clarify the optimal birth month for avoidance of SIDS and the seasonal characteristic of each birth-month cohort. The statistical method was cosinor analysis, and this established seasonality of SIDS death and births, the extent of this seasonality (amplitude) and the position of the peak (acrophase). There is a lowering of risk, by one third, amongst babies born in February-May compared to those born in August-November. The seasonal variation of death was twice as great for birth in September as compared with those in April. Those born in May-June lived on average six weeks longer than those born in November-April. Advice on subsequent pregnancy delivery date should be given to families who have already experienced SIDS. For those born in autumn there may be two components-the first a genetic or intrauterine component independent of month of birth, and the second an independent effect of interaction with winter environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Seasons*
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*