Sometimes threats aren’t immediately apparent. Sometimes they never even come to light until someone takes the time to check if they’re there. An example of this comes from a recent study published at the American Academy of Pediatrics that shows an increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies who live at high altitudes.
Sudden Infant Syndrome is just what it says it is: infants dying suddenly for no apparent reason. Despite nearly 3,500 cases annually, public health experts are still in the dark as they search for a concrete cause.
A little light may have been shone though, thanks to a new study that was recently published in the Pediatrics journal. In this study, researchers combed through 393,000 Colorado infant records, matched them to their residential altitudes, then compared the death and birth certificate records in the area between 2007 and 2013, all to see if a link between SIDS risk and high altitude existed.
After compensating for multiple factors, the researchers observed that babies who lived in residences more than 8,000 feet above sea were twice as likely to experience SIDS, compared to under who lived under 6,000 feet sea level.
While this information has shed some light, scientist still don’t know the actual cause of the increased risk. Some have hypothesized that hypoxia—a lack of oxygen—may be a factor. Researchers advise that new parents should be informed about the risks to decrease infant mortality rates.
Research: Link: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/05/20/peds.2014-2697