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ARTICLE |

The Effect of Passive Smoking and Tobacco Exposure Through Breast Milk on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Hillary Sandra Klonoff-Cohen, PhD; Sharon Leigh Edelstein, ScM; Ellen Schneider Lefkowitz, MPH; Indu P. Srinivasan, MD; David Kaegi, MD; Jae Chun Chang; Karen J. Wiley
JAMA. 1995;273(10):795-798. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520340051035.
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Objective.  —To examine the relationship between sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and smoking during pregnancy; postnatal tobacco smoke exposure from the mother, father, live-in adults, and day care providers; and postnatal smoke exposure from breast-feeding.

Design.  —Case-control study.

Setting.  —Five counties in Southern California.

Participants.  —A total of 200 white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian parents of infants who died of SIDS between 1989 and 1992 were compared with 200 control parents who delivered healthy infants. Case infants were matched to control infants on the basis of birth hospital, birth date, gender, and race. All information was obtained from a detailed telephone interview and validated with medical records.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Risk of SIDS associated with passive smoking by the mother, father, live-in adults, and day care providers; smoking in the same room as the infant; total number of cigarettes smoked by all adults; and maternal smoking during the time period of breast-feeding.

Results.  —Conditional logistic regression resulted in overall adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for SIDS associated with passive smoke from the mother of 2.28, the father of 3.46, other live-in adults of 2.18, and all sources of 3.50 (95% confidence interval, 1.81 to 6.75), while simultaneously adjusting for birth weight, sleep position, prenatal care, medical conditions at birth, breast-feeding, and maternal smoking during pregnancy. A dose-response effect was noted for SIDS associated with increasing numbers of cigarettes, as well as total number of smokers. Breast-feeding was protective for SIDS among nonsmokers (OR=0.37) but not smokers (OR=1.38), when adjusting for potential confounders.

Conclusions.  —Passive smoking in the same room as the infant increases the risk for SIDS. Physicians should educate new and prospective parents about the risks of tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy and the first year of the infant's life.(JAMA. 1995;273:795-798)

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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