Objectives. To evaluate changes in the rates and epidemiologic patterns of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) after implementation of public health campaigns to promote back sleeping and reduce exposure to cigarette smoke and environmental risk factors for SIDS. Methods. California vital statistics data were used to evaluate changes in SIDS rates (deaths/1000 live births) and in the proportions of SIDS deaths by age and season of occurrence for California infants of black or other races from 1990 through 1995. Results. From 1990 through 1995, 3508 SIDS deaths occurred. SIDS rates declined from 2.69 to 2.15 for black infants and from 1.04 to 0.61 for others between 1990 and 1995. Most SIDS deaths occurred during the 2nd to 4th months of life; the proportion of SIDS deaths during this period was unchanged for blacks but decreased for others from 70% to 65%. Of all SIDS deaths, 62% occurred during the colder season (October through March); the proportion of deaths in each season did not change for either race. Conclusion. California SIDS rates declined 20% for blacks and 41% for others between 1990 and 1995. Declines coincided with, campaigns to reduce environmental risk factors for SIDS. Blacks continue to be at increased risk for SIDS compared with others, and the SIDS rate for blacks relative to others has increased. Reductions in SIDS mortality coinciding with interventions were smaller for blacks than for others. New strategies are needed to reduce further SIDS rates and narrow the gap between blacks and others.
- Infant mortality
- Sudden infant death syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health