Bed-sharing is associated with a five-fold increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) among younger infants even if their parents don't smoke, use alcohol, or take drugs, a new analysis found.
When neither parent smoked, and the baby was breastfed, less than 3 months old, and had no other major SIDS risk factors, the adjusted odds radio for bed-sharing versus room-sharing was still 5.1 (2.3 to 11.4), reported Robert Carpenter Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues, in the online journal BMJ Open.
The estimated absolute risk for bed-sharing compared with room-sharing was 0.23/1,000 live births (0.11 to 0.43) versus 0.08/1,000 live births, they added.
Nine out of 10 SIDS deaths that involved sleeping with a parent or caregiver would not have occurred in the absence of bed-sharing, the researchers concluded.
Advice on bed-sharing varies by country, but "there is general acceptance that sleeping with a baby is a risk factor for SIDS when sleeping ... in a bed if the mother smokes and/or has taken alcohol," the authors explained. But there's less consensus on whether bed-sharing is still a problem with the absence of these risk factors.
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