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Besides Sleeping Environment, There Are Many Factors That Cause SIDS, Study

Update Date: Dec 06, 2015 04:26 PM EST

The Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is thought to be striking babies who have poor sleeping habits---such as sleeping on soft mattresses or on their bellies, rather than backs. Still, in a new study by researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, it is seen that many factors tend to increase the risk of SIDS, according to HNGN.

Scientists collected information between 1983 and 2012. Hence, the the number of SIDS cases came down by 71 percent, mostly between 1994 and 1996 during the peak of the Back to Sleep drive, which has been responsible for the decline. Increased breastfeeding has also led to lower rates of SIDS.

Related factors that lead to SIDS include "poor prenatal and neonatal care, women's exposure to smoking during pregnancy, babies being born prematurely and teen pregnancy."

"This study raises the question of other factors being critical in declining SIDS rates, not just sleep environment. Efforts to understand the biologic vulnerabilities of these infants are important," Dr. Richard Goldstein, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and lead study author, said in a press release.

Goldstein said that you should provide safe environments, apart from "improving overall maternal and infant health". He also said that it is important to study biological factors that many influence SIDS, such as brain impairment when they don't have enough oxygen that makes them wake up

The study was published online Dec. 2 in the journal Pediatrics.

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