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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


PINHO, Ana Paula Silveira  and  NUNES, Magda Lahorgue. Epidemiological profile and strategies for diagnosing SIDS in a developing country. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.2, pp.115-122. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological profile, risk factors and best strategies for diagnosing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in a developing country. METHODS: Population-based, case-control study with children born between January 1st, 2001, and December 31st, 2003, in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, who were allocated into three groups: SIDS cases (33), explained death controls (192), and living controls (192). Children in the latter two groups were age- and sex-paired with SIDS cases. Families in which an infant had died at home within the first year of life were identified, and the information available on death certificates and autopsy reports was compared to confirm the diagnosis of SIDS. Explained death controls consisted of infants who had died at city hospitals, and living controls were selected in the same neighborhood as SIDS cases. All parents were interviewed to obtain information on children’s health and sleep habits. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify risk factors in the study population. RESULTS: The incidence of SIDS in the population assessed was 0.55/1,000 live births. The analysis revealed the following risk factors: ethnicity (characterized by self-reported black skin color), prematurity, low birth weight, adolescent mother, smoking during pregnancy, and family income of less than one minimum wage. Ninety-four percent of SIDS cases were misdiagnosed in the death certificate. CONCLUSIONS: Although SIDS was misdiagnosed in official death certificates, the epidemiological profile is similar to the literature, as well as risk factors, which could be reduced with preventive campaigns. Investigating SIDS in developing countries requires special strategies to avoid misdiagnosis.

Keywords : SIDS; epidemiology; prone sleeping position.

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