Families living at high altitudes should be aware of a 2x higher risk of SIDS says a new study reported by the New York Times.
Living at high altitude is associated with increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, a new report has found.Researchers studied Colorado birth certificate and death registries from 2007 to 2012, and assessed the link to altitude using maternal residential addresses for nearly 395,000 infants. The findings were published in Pediatrics.
After controlling for maternal age and education, infant weight, cigarette smoking and other factors, and given the effect of the Back to Sleep campaign, which started in 1994 and encouraged parents to lay babies on their backs, the researchers found that infants who lived above 8,000 feet had twice the risk of SIDS compared with those who lived below 6,000 feet. But “despite the doubling of risk,” said Dr. David F. Katz, a cardiologist at the University of Colorado and the study’s lead author, “the absolute risk remains very low.
The answer for new parents however is not to move to lower altitudes. Instead, these parents should be even more diligent in developing habits to lower risk including:
- putting the baby to sleep on his or her back every time
- not smoking
- using a crib without bumpers, blankets, or bedding.