SIDS rates increased significantly from 2019 to 2020, finds study
From 2019 to 2020, there was an increase in the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and sudden unexplained infant death (SUID) rates increased among non-Hispanic Black infants, according to a study published online March 13 in Pediatrics.
Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined SUID rates during 2015 to 2020 using U.S. period-linked birth and death data. SUID included SIDS, unknown cause, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Changes in rates were examined from 2019 to 2020, and linear trends were assessed during the prepandemic period (2015 to 2019).
The researchers found that following a declining linear trend in SIDS during 2015 to 2019, there was a significant increase in the rate of SIDS from 2019 to 2020, while the rate of SUID did not increase significantly overall. No significant change was seen in other SUID causes. In a race and ethnicity analysis, the rates of SUID increased significantly for non-Hispanic Black infants from 2019 to 2020, widening the disparities seen in 2017 to 2019. Fewer than 10 of the 3,328 SUID cases in 2020 had a COVID-19 code.
“Our findings support evidence that the increased SIDS rate in 2020 as compared to 2019 was likely unrelated to direct effects of the COVID-19 illness but may be attributed to diagnostic shifting in cause-specific SUID rates,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to CyberData Technologies.
Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza et al, Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: 2015–2020, Pediatrics (2023). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2022-058820
Rebecca F. Carlin et al, Increasing Disparities in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths Reflect Societal Failures, Pediatrics (2023). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2022-060798
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