Sudden infant death syndrome in the Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva districts

Y. Sivan*, G. Shen, T. Schonfeld, M. Nitzan, J. Nutman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the epidemiology and incidence of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva districts during the period April 1980 to March 1983. Sixty-nine infants were diagnosed as SIDS and 38 of them had autopsies. Four cases were excluded because their autopsy revealed other diagnoses. When calculating for 24,183 live births per year during the study period, the rate of SIDS was found to be 0.47-0.90:1,000 live births. Other epidemiologic characteristics were: male:female ratio 1:1.3; peak incidence at 2-4 months age, with 80% before age 6 months; increased incidence during the autumn and winter months (85% of SIDS cases); and highest incidence between midnight and 8:00 AM (84% of SIDS cases). None of the infants had a history of a previous apparent life-threatening event. Birthweight of infants who died of SIDS was not significantly different from that in the general population. No statistical relation to DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccination was found. Half the cases had mild respiratory illness during the week that preceded the sudden death. The incidence of parental cigarette smoking was higher than in the general population (56.5% vs. 36-53%; P<0.005) as well as the incidence of maternal smoking during pregnancy. We conclude that the incidence of SIDS in Israel is relatively low. The epidemiologic characteristics of SIDS in Israel are very similar to the presentation of the syndrome in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-435
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Apnea of infancy
  • Mild respiratory illness
  • Sudden infant death syndrome


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