A prospective study of sudden unexpected infant death after reported maltreatmentedit
To examine whether infants reported for maltreatment face a heightened risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other leading causes of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID).Linked birth and infant death records for all children born in California between 1999 and 2006 were matched to administrative child protection data. Infants were prospectively followed from birth through death or 1 year of age. A report of maltreatment was modeled as a time-varying covariate; risk factors at birth were included as baseline covariates. Multivariable competing risk survival models were used to estimate the adjusted relative hazard of postneonatal SIDS and other SUID.A previous maltreatment report emerged as a significant predictor of SIDS and other SUID. After adjusting for baseline risk factors, the rate of SIDS was more than 3 times as great among infants reported for possible maltreatment (hazard ratio: 3.22; 95% CI: 2.66, 3.89).Infants reported to child protective services have a heightened risk of SIDS and other SUID. Targeted services and improved communication between child protective services and the pediatric health care community may enhance infant well-being and reduce risk of death.