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Caffeine and alcohol as risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome. Nordic Epidemiological SIDS Study.

Journal article
Authors Bernt Alm
Göran Wennergren
Gunnar Norvenius
R Skjaerven
N Oyen
K Helweg-Larsen
H Lagercrantz
L M Irgens
Published in Archives of disease in childhood
Volume 81
Issue 2
Pages 107-11
ISSN 1468-2044
Publication year 1999
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Paediatrics
Pages 107-11
Language en
Keywords Alcohol Drinking, adverse effects, Caffeine, adverse effects, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Odds Ratio, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Risk Factors, Smoking, adverse effects, Sudden Infant Death, etiology
Subject categories Public health science, Epidemiology, Pediatrics


To assess whether alcohol and caffeine are independent risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).Analyses based on data from the Nordic epidemiological SIDS study, a case control study in which all parents of SIDS victims in the Nordic countries from 1 September 1992 to 31 August 1995 were invited to participate with parents of four controls, matched for sex and age at death. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by conditional logistic regression analysis.The crude ORs for caffeine consumption > 800 mg/24 hours both during and after pregnancy were significantly raised: 3.9 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.9 to 8.1) and 3.1 (95% CI, 1.5 to 6.3), respectively. However, after adjustment for maternal smoking in 1st trimester, maternal age, education and parity, no significant effect of caffeine during or after pregnancy remained. For maternal or paternal alcohol use, no significant risk increase was found after adjusting for social variables, except for heavy postnatal intake of alcohol by the mother, where the risk was significantly increased.Caffeine during or after pregnancy was not found to be an independent risk factor for SIDS after adjustment for maternal age, education, parity, and smoking during pregnancy. Heavy postnatal but not prenatal intake of alcohol by the mother increased the risk.

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