Sociodemographic and meteorological correlates of sudden infant death in Taiwan

Hua Pin Chang, Chung Yi Li, Ya Hui Chang, Shiow Li Hwang, Ying Hwa Su, Chi Wen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background This study was designed, using three national datasets including the Taiwan Death Registry, Taiwan Birth Registry, and National Meteorological Dataset, to examine the sociodemographic, geographic and meteorological correlates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Methods One thousand, six hundred and seventy-one cases of SIDS occurring between 1994 and 2003, and 8355 matched controls were included in this nested case-control study. Results Over the study period, the annual rate of SIDS declined only slightly, with an average annual rate of 57.9/105. Male infants (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06-1.33), preterm births (AOR, 1.69; 95%CI: 1.33-2.13), low birthweight (AOR, 2.87; 95%CI: 2.30-3.59), and birth order ≥3 (AOR, 1.62; 95%CI: 1.37-1.92) were the demographic risk factors for SIDS. Additionally, paternal age <25 years (AOR, 1.37; 95%CI: 1.09-1.71), urbanization (AOR, 1.46; 95%CI: 1.20-1.78), lower paternal education (elementary and less; AOR, 1.28; 95%CI: 1.01-1.64), and parental age difference >10 years (AOR, 1.72; 95%CI: 1.24-2.39) were also associated with increased risk of SIDS. It was also noted that daily average temperature ranging from 9.2°C to 14.2°C (AOR, 2.10; 95%CI: 1.67-2.64) was associated with the most increased risk, while temperature ≥26.4°C (AOR 0.60, 0.61) was significantly associated with the most reduced risk. Conclusion Sociodemographic, geographic and meteorological data can be used to identify families in greater need of early guidance and to promote various prevention measures to avoid the occurrence of SIDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • demographic factors
  • nested case-control studies
  • socioeconomic factors
  • sudden infant death
  • temperature


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