Sudden infant death syndrome--United States, 1983-1994

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1996 Oct 11;45(40):859-63.


Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is "the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history." Although SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion and of unknown etiology, it is the leading cause of postneonatal mortality in the United States, accounting for approximately one-third of all such deaths. This report analyzes age-, race-, and region-specific trends for SIDS in the United States during 1983-1994 (the latest year for which final data are available) and indicates that annual rates of SIDS declined more than three times faster during 1990-1994 than during 1983-1989.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Distribution
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology