Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Among Siblings of Children Who Died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Denmark

Charlotte Glinge*, Sára Rossetti, Louise Bruun Oestergaard, Niels Kjær Stampe, Thomas Hadberg Lynge, Regitze Skals, Bo Gregers Winkel, Elisabeth M Lodder, Connie R Bezzina, Gunnar Gislason, Jytte Banner, Elijah R Behr, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Reza Jabbari, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
6 Citationer (Scopus)


IMPORTANCE: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) remains a leading cause of death during the first year of life. The etiology of SIDS is complex and remains largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether siblings of children who died of SIDS have a higher risk of SIDS compared with the general pediatric population.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This register-based cohort study used Danish nationwide registers. Participants were all infants (<1 year) in Denmark between January 1, 1978, and December 31, 2016, including siblings of children who died of SIDS. Siblings were followed up from the index cases' date of SIDS, date of birth, or immigration, whichever came first, and until age 1 year, emigration, developing SIDS, death, or study end. The median (IQR) follow-up was 1 (1-1) year. Data analysis was conducted from January 2017 to October 2022.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of SIDS were calculated with Poisson regression models relative to the general population.

RESULTS: In a population of 2 666 834 consecutive births (1 395 199 [52%] male), 1540 infants died of SIDS (median [IQR] age at SIDS, 3 [2-4] months) during a 39-year study period. A total of 2384 younger siblings (cases) to index cases (first sibling with SIDS) were identified. A higher rate of SIDS was observed among siblings compared with the general population, with SIRs of 4.27 (95% CI, 2.13-8.53) after adjustment for sex, age, and calendar year and of 3.50 (95% CI, 1.75-7.01) after further adjustment for mother's age (<29 years vs ≥29 years) and education (high school vs after high school).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this nationwide study, having a sibling who died of SIDS was associated with a 4-fold higher risk of SIDS compared with the general population. Shared genetic and/or environmental factors may contribute to the observed clustering of SIDS. The family history of SIDS should be considered when assessing SIDS risk in clinical settings. A multidisciplinary genetic evaluation of families with SIDS could provide additional evidence.

TidsskriftJAMA network open
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)e2252724
StatusUdgivet - 25 jan. 2023


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