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The continuing decline in SIDS mortality
  1. Edwin A Mitchell1,
  2. Lynne Hutchison1,
  3. Alistair W Stewart2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health (Tamaki Campus), University of Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Ed Mitchell
    Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand;e.mitchell{at}


The “Back to Sleep” campaign resulted in a dramatic decrease in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) worldwide. SIDS mortality has continued to decline (in New Zealand by 63% from 1993 to 2004), but the reason for this has not been explained. A postal survey found that the proportion of infants sleeping on their back has increased substantially (from 24.4% in 1992 to 72.3% in 2005), and this could account for the 39%–48% decrease in SIDS mortality.

  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome
  • SIDS
  • sleeping position
  • mortality trends

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  • Published Online First 3 April 2007

  • EAM is supported by the Child Health Research Foundation.

  • Competing interests: None.

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