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Results of the National Scottish Case Control Study of SIDS

Full text of study

Abstract in British Medical Journal

Media Alert from SIDS Alliance

28 May 1997

I came across an article entitled, "Secondhand mattresses raise SIDS risk" on the MSNBC site at: http://www.msnbc.com/news/76257.asp

I was hoping for comments on this article from "Our Docs"

So far, I have only seen a 2-page summary, not the complete 10-page report. However, I will summarize my current reactions. The study reports that mattresses covered with PVC have a lower risk for SIDS than any other mattress types. The authors suggest that their observed increased risk of SIDS associated with "sleeping on mattresses previously used by other children or adults" can be explained by the fact that "urine, sweat and household fungi are not absorbed by the PVC covering, which can be kept clean regardless of age." They do not, however, suggest any specific mechanism for SIDS occurring as a consequence of this kind of mattress "contamination."

There are 2 unknowns with these epidemiological data from Scotland. First, the link between "old mattress contamination" and SIDS remains hypothetical at this point. Secondly, there may be a number of socioeconomic factors important to SIDS risk that are different in infants using new versus old mattresses. I will reply again if I have any other insights after reading the full report.

I hope this is helpful.
Dr. Carl Hunt

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