To compare the current prevalence of risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in Sweden with a decade earlier, and assess factors associated with prone sleeping.
The results of a cohort study (Infants of Western Sweden) and a population based case‐control study (Nordic Epidemiological SIDS Study) were examined. Subjects were 5600 healthy 6 month old infants born in 2003 in the Western Sweden region and 430 healthy Swedish infants born between 1991 and 1995.
Prone sleeping decreased from 31.8% to 5.6% and supine sleeping increased from 35.3% to 47.3%. Side or side/supine sleeping increased from 25.2% to 43.8%. Maternal smoking during pregnancy decreased from 23.5% to 9.5%. The risk for prone sleeping increased if the mother was unemployed (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.5 to 4.0), if she was a heavy smoker in the third trimester (OR 44.1, 95% CI 1.6 to 1199.6), and if the child was irritable (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.1), shared a bedroom with siblings (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.0 to 6.6), or never used a dummy (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.9 to 5.4).
Parents have complied with advice to prevent SIDS given at infant welfare centres for the last 10 years. A change in the preferred sleeping position from side variants to exclusively supine, and reducing the number of pregnant women smoking may be beneficial. Use of a prone sleeping position was associated with maternal employment status, maternal smoking, temperament of the child, dummy use, and sharing a bedroom with siblings.