MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) can be classified into two groups based on the age of death, with distinct risk factors for sudden unexpected early neonatal deaths (SUENDs) and postperinatal SUIDs, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Pediatrics.

Juan M. Lavista Ferres, from the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington, and colleagues analyzed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Birth Cohort Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set (2003 to 2013: 41,125,233 births and 37,624 SUIDs) in a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis. Subpopulations of SUID cases were identified by age of death; the effects of a set of covariates on each group were examined.

The researchers identified two group: SUENDs (days 0 to 6) and postperinatal SUIDs (days 7 to 364). The distributions of assigned International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision code, live birth order, marital status, age of mother, birth weight, and gestational length differed significantly between the groups. For deaths that occurred in the first 48 hours, maternal smoking during pregnancy was not a significant risk factor.

“On the basis of these differences in risk factors and developmental windows, we propose that SUIDs that occur in the first week of life are a distinct etiology and should consistently be considered separately from postperinatal SUID cases,” the authors write.

Two authors are employees of the Microsoft Corporation, which partially funded the study.

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