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Why do ALTE infants not die in SIDS?

Journal article
Authors A. Edner
M. Wennborg
Bernt Alm
H. Lagercrantz
Published in Acta Paediatr
Volume 96
Issue 2
Pages 191-4
ISSN 0803-5253 (Print)
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 191-4
Language en
Keywords Apnea/complications/*epidemiology, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Incidence, Infant, Infant Mortality, Male, Posture, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, Sudden Infant Death/*epidemiology, Sweden
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


AIM: To compare known risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) amongst infants with apparent life threatening events (ALTE) with their matched controls, and ALTE infants who subsequently died of SIDS with infants surviving an ALTE. METHODS: Questionnaires with replies were obtained from 58 ALTE infants and 56 sex and age matched ALTE control infants. 244 SIDS cases and 868 SIDS controls were used as comparison. RESULTS: The incidence of ALTE was found to be 1.9% among SIDS controls, but 7.4% among infants who later on died of SIDS. The parents sought medical advice in 0.9% vs 3.7%. ALTE infants did not differ from their matched controls. In the ALTE group 13.3% of the survivors had the combination of prone sleeping and maternal smoking compared with 33.3% of those who became SIDS victims. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show some major differences between the ALTE infants and SIDS victims not supporting that these conditions belong to the same entity. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that there is a subpopulation of ALTE infants who did not die in SIDS due to that they were sleeping on the back and not exposed to nicotine.

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