Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other unexplained infant death: nearly 5-fold variation in risk between different ethnic groups in England and Wales

There is evidence of large differences between ethnic groups in the risk of unexplained death in infancy, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Mary Kroll, Maria Quigley, Jenny Kurinczuk, Yangmei Li and Jennifer Hollowell at the NPEU, University of Oxford, and Nirupa Dattani at City, University of London, looked at newly-available data for 4.6 million babies born in England and Wales. They found the lowest risk of unexplained death in infancy in Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, White Non-British and Black African babies; intermediate risk in White British babies; and highest risk in Mixed Black-African-White, Mixed Black-Caribbean-White, and Black Caribbean babies.

The disparity of risk did not seem to be explained by patterns of preterm birth, mother’s age, or socio-economic position, and may reflect cultural differences in infant care.

Read the full results in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.