New research shows overheating newborns can increase the risk of SIDS

May 30, 2008

New research at the University of Calgary shows that smoking while pregnant, as well as thermal stress, can lead to an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Increased ambient temperature such as over-wrapping a baby at night time or increasing the room temperature can affect the baby's pattern of breathing.

Other known contributing factors to SIDS include babies sleeping in a belly-down position and exposure to cigarette smoke. Combining any of these factors with thermal stress may put babies at greater risk.

"Addressing these risk factors through tobacco reduction programs as well as better infant care practices could potentially decrease the incidence of SIDS," says Dr. Shabih Hasan, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine who led the study.

To investigate the effects of thermal stress and cigarette smoke exposure researchers exposed pregnant rat pups to increased ambient temperatures as well as cigarette smoke. This is also the first study involving animals to observe the effects of cigarette smoke rather then just nicotine, which is only one of 4,700 known toxins in cigarettes.

The research will be published in the June 1st edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The SIDS Calgary Society is greatly encouraged by the study.

"This finding truly takes us one step closer to medically understanding the mystery of the mechanisms that cause SIDS. We want to encourage Dr. Hasan and others with research focused on these mechanisms to continue their work as there are many parents of SIDS babies that are really looking for medical answers," says George Dalekos, chair of the SIDS Calgary Society.

In 1999, Jackie Sillner's seven-month old daughter Brianne died as a result of SIDS. "It can happen to anyone," she says, "research in this area can answer questions and help parents understand what happened."

Source: University of Calgary

Explore further: Thin air, high altitudes cause depression in female rats

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Mexican Americans confront high disability rates in later life

40 minutes ago

Life expectancy for Hispanics in the U.S. currently outpaces other ethnic groups, yet a new study finds that Mexican Americans—especially women who were born in Mexico—are spending a high proportion of their later years ...

Top European beers to show calorie counts

5 hours ago

Beer drinkers in Europe will soon be able to find out the calorie count on their drinks after four of the world's biggest brewers said Thursday that they will list the information.

One in four high school seniors now try water pipes

10 hours ago

Despite declines in the number of youths who smoke cigarettes, hookah or water pipe use continues to rise among Canadian youth, a new study from the University of Waterloo reports. Published Monday in Cancer Ca ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.