The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Prevention found that in 2017 there were 1,400 deaths sue to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the United States. SIDS is the leading cause of postneonatal mortality, with an overall rate of 0.39/1000 births. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported study, Concurrent prenatal drinking and smoking increases risk for SIDS: Safe Passage Study report, examined the patterns of drinking and smoking during pregnancy that increase risk of SIDS. Many studies have found links between alcohol exposure, smoking and SIDS. The Safe Passage Study tested the theory that prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco cigarettes, or both increases the risk for SIDS.

Results of the study included that the role of dual exposures to prenatal smoking and drinking are risk factors for SIDS. Researchers focused on the influence of frequency and timing of prenatal exposure to tobacco and alcohol which concluded that infants whose mothers combined smoking and drinking beyond the first trimester were at the greatest risk for infant mortality. The CDC, United States Surgeon General and the World Health Organization’s recommendation of no smoking and drinking during pregnancy are aligned with the Safe Passage Study findings.

This study emphasized the need for the public health to address the dangers of drinking and smoking during pregnancy and the public health impact for screenings and early detection and intervention for pregnant mothers. To access the study, click here.