SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, refers to death occurring in infants with no known cause. Researchers have tried for years to pinpoint the cause of death in SIDS cases. According to this study on the effect of smoking on SIDS rates, parents who choose to smoke increase the risk of their infants dying from SIDS three times.

The study followed pregnant women who chose to smoke during their pregnancies. Researchers noted that their findings could reduce the number of infants dying from SIDS by 30 to 40%, assuming 30% of the pregnant population smokes during pregnancy. Factors associated with the increased risk were taken into consideration including lifestyle, caffeine intake and alcohol consumption.

Despite the fact that smoking is linked to higher rates of SIDS in infants, there is still no definitive cause of sudden infant death syndrome.

Authors: Kirsten Wisborg, Ulrik Kesmodel, Tine Brink Henriksen, Sjurdur Frodi Olsen, Niels Jørgen Secher