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We examined the negative relation between temperature and the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 22 communities in seven countries. We estimated the percentage increase in SIDS rate for a 1 degree C drop in climatic temperature. The relation differed substantially among communities. In New Zealand and Australia (10 communities), the association was consistently strong; in Europe (seven communities), it varied from strong to weak; and in the USA (five communities), it was moderate or weak. We postulate that low climatic temperature indirectly increases the incidence of SIDS, particularly in countries where outdoor climatic temperature modifies the indoor temperature and clothing habits.


Journal article



Publication Date





332 - 336


Australia, Climate, Ecology, Europe, Geography, Humans, Incidence, Infant, Infant, Newborn, New Zealand, Seasons, Sudden Infant Death, Temperature, United States