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Breast feeding and the sudden infant death syndrome in Scandinavia, 1992–95
  1. B Alm1,
  2. G Wennergren1,
  3. S G Norvenius1,
  4. R Skjærven4,
  5. H Lagercrantz2,
  6. K Helweg-Larsen3,
  7. L M Irgens4,
  8. On Behalf Of The Nordic Epidemiological Sids Study
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Göteborg
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3The Danish Institute for Clinical Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4The Medical Birth Registry of Norway, Bergen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr B Alm, Dept of Paediatrics, Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, SE-416 85 Göteborg, Sweden;


Aims: To assess the effects of breast feeding habits on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Methods: The analyses are based on data from the Nordic Epidemiological SIDS Study, a case–control study in which parents of SIDS victims in the Scandinavian countries between 1 September 1992 and 31 August 1995 were invited to participate, each with parents of four matched controls. The odds ratios presented were computed by conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results: After adjustment for smoking during pregnancy, paternal employment, sleeping position, and age of the infant, the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) was 5.1 (2.3 to 11.2) if the infant was exclusively breast fed for less than four weeks, 3.7 (1.6 to 8.4) for 4–7 weeks, 1.6 (0.7 to 3.6) for 8–11 weeks, and 2.8 (1.2 to 6.8) for 12–15 weeks, with exclusive breast feeding over 16 weeks as the reference. Mixed feeding in the first week post partum did not increase the risk.

Conclusions: The study is supportive of a weak relation between breast feeding and SIDS reduction.

  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • SIDS
  • Scandinavia
  • CI, confidence interval
  • OR, odds ratio
  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome

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