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Why One SIDS Death May Be Followed by Another

By Christina Elston

Research has shown that a woman whose baby dies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is five times more likely than other women to lose another child to SIDS. A recent study published in the British medical journal The Lancet gives at least a partial explanation for why.

Gordon C.S. Smith, M.D., and colleagues from Cambridge University found that women whose babies had died from SIDS - the sudden and otherwise unexplained death of a child under age 1 - were also at increased risk of having complicated pregnancies and low-birthweight or premature babies. This means that some of the factors contributing to problem pregnancies and births could also explain some cases of recurring SIDS.

"Women whose babies die due to SIDS are more likely to smoke, to be unmarried, to be very young and to live in an area of high deprivation," says Smith. He stresses the importance of preventive measures, such as not smoking during pregnancy or around the baby, and putting babies to sleep on their backs.

Christina Elston is the contributing health editor for United Parenting Publications.

Related Reading: More Health Notes

Christina Elston is the contributing health editor for United Parenting Publications.

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