[NFIMR] Ambient environmental factors related to SIDS?

Jennifer Highland jennifer.highland at healthystartsarasota.org
Thu Jun 23 09:52:43 EDT 2011

A large-scale epidemiological study on pollution and infant deaths would be
worthwhile, because pollution will become worse over time.  If the
hypothesis is correct and it's proven more clearly it can cause babies to
die, maybe then the Clean Air Act would be strengthened and industries more
tightly regulated.

Jennifer Highland, MPH, RN
Executive Director
Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc.
1750 17th Street, Bldg A
Sarasota, FL 34234

"Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women,
infants, and young children."

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-----Original Message-----
From: Abby Bourgeois [mailto:abourgeois at healthystarthhp.org] 
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:42 AM
To: 'Patricia Tackitt'; 'Kelley Bowden'
Cc: 'Anne Packham'; NFIMR at suse.acog.org
Subject: Re: [NFIMR] Ambient environmental factors related to SIDS?


This is a very interesting question, thank you for bringing it up. I've done
a bit of a literature review and I think this MAY be explained either one of
two ways or using a combination of both speculations (assuming that it
wasn't a coincidence that the deaths occurred in the same area).

1- studies have been done that find a slight association between ambient air
pollution and the risk for LBW and/or preterm birth. It might be worth
looking into the infants birth history to see if they would be at risk for
SIDS based on LBW or preterm status

2- there has been an association found between air pollution and risk of
infant mortality

(see the attached article for specifics)

Either air pollution after birth or prenatal exposure to pollution may have
put the infants at risk and co-sleeping added as an external stressor
probably increased the likelihood of death significantly. I'm thinking that
the triple risk hypothesis could be at play here with the external stressor
being the co-sleeping, the air pollution being the underlying vulnerability
and then being infants they were in the critical stage required for SIDS to
occur. Something to consider at least. 

Abby Bourgeois
Provider Liaison/FIMR Coordinator
Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands & Polk Counties, Inc We've
Moved! Please note our new phone number and address as of June 1st 650 E
Davidson Street Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: 863-534-9224
Fax: 863-519-8111
abourgeois at healthystarthhp.org

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-----Original Message-----
From: Patricia Tackitt [mailto:ptackitt at comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:04 PM
To: Kelley Bowden
Cc: Anne Packham; NFIMR at suse.acog.org
Subject: Re: [NFIMR] Ambient environmental factors related to SIDS?

Hi Kelly and Anne,
I appreciate Kelley's wisdom.  We've been seeing the same thing, for many

We had 5 babies die in a 2 day period in Wayne Co, MI in July either last
year, or maybe it was 2009.  When we finished the investigations the risks
were 4 - unsafe sleep in bedsharing situations with mom and  
sibs, and one died in soft bedding, in adult bed, prone, alone.   
Sleeping baby supine, in a safety approved crib, with nothing in the crib
but the baby and a pacifier - saves lives. We totally support room sharing,
but not bedsharing.

I work on FIMR in Michigan, in Wayne Co and on CDRT in Wayne Co and  
Detroit.  We do not find SIDS deaths and have not for over 8 years,   
We find suffocations, some accidental manners and some homicide.

Pat Tackitt RN, MS
WCMEO - Pediatric Mortality Investigations FIMR - Detroit, MI
734 306-3452

On Jun 20, 2011, at 5:12 PM, Kelley Bowden wrote:

> I am not aware of other factors.  We are looking at the issues related 
> to SUID, as we have also had several deaths while bed- sharing with an 
> adult.  We have done extensive literature reviews and have not found 
> any environmental factors (other than the usual cigarette smoking, 
> over-heating).
> People often quote Japan as having the lowest SIDS rates, but I 
> recently learned that their bed sharing deaths are classified as 
> suffocation deaths, not SIDS deaths.
> We are continuing to critique these deaths.  At this point it looks 
> like bed sharing in an adult bed is a high risk situation and should 
> be avoided.
> Kelley
> Kelley Bowden, MS, RN
> Perinatal Outreach Education
> Maine Medical Center
> 22 Bramhall Street
> Portland, ME 04102
> bowdek at mmc.org
> 207-662-2696 or 662-2167
>>>> "Packham, Anne" <Anne.Packham at cincinnati-oh.gov> 6/15/2011 2:27 PM 
>>>> >>>
> Greetings,
> We recently had three otherwise healthy babies died of SUID within 
> three days within about a two mile radius.  Granted, all of them were 
> co-sleeping in an adult bed. But I wondered if anyone is aware of any 
> research on possible environmental (ambient) factors that could be 
> related to sudden infant death.
> Thanks,
> Anne Packham MPH
> Fetal and Infant Mortality Review
> Cincinnati Health Department
> 3101 Burnet Ave., Rm. 202
> Cincinnati, OH  45229
> phone (513) 357-7266
> fax      (513) 357-7434
> anne.packham at cincinnati-oh.gov
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