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The effect of drinking and smoking on sudden infant death syndrome

The causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are poorly understood. Researchers wanted to determine how maternal alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy, either individually or in conjunction with each other, affected the risk of SIDS. They analyzed a dataset that included over 10,000 women with 12,000 fetuses from pregnancy to 1 year after birth in the United States and South Africa. They found that mothers who smoked beyond the first trimester increased their child’s risk of SIDS. Drinking and smoking together during pregnancy was associated with an even higher risk.

The paper, “Concurrent Prenatal Drinking and Smoking Increases Risk for SIDS: Safe Passage Study Report,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published in the journal eClinicalMedicine.

Research & Resources