Sleep and cardiorespiratory control: Implications for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Research


Despite the dramatic decline i11 the i11cide11ce of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by 50-90% over the past two decades, SIDS continues to be the leading cause of death in infants aged between 1 month and 1 year in developed countries. SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion and although there have been several common findings in SIDS victims at autopsy there are no definitive pathological markers as yet identified. SIDS is believed to occur during sleep and impairments in autonomic cardiorespiratory control in combination with a failure to arouse form sleep have frequently been implicated as the likely mechanisms involved in the final pathway to SIDS. Support for this comes from large studies comparing SIDS victims with surviving infants that have identified altered autonomic control of heart rate and breathing, fewer spontaneous arousals from sleep and differences in arousal pathways. In addition, numerous studies have now identified that epidemiological factors which increase the risk for SIDS, such as the prone sleep position, maternal smoking, prematurity, overheating and recent
infection also alter autonomic cardiorespirat01y control and arousal from
sleep in othe1wise healthy low risk infants. This chapter will review the literature implicating abnormalities in cardiorespirato1y control during sleep and arousal from sleep in the aetiology of SIDS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVegetative functions and Their Interactions in the Neonate
EditorsKaren Chardon
Place of PublicationKerala, India
PublisherResearch Signpost
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9788130803845
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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