World Bulletin / News Desk
About one in six sudden infant deaths may be linked to heavy alcohol use by their mothers during or soon after pregnancy, according to an Australian study.
Researchers writing in Pediatrics found that those deaths may result from babies being exposed to alcohol in the womb and from alcohol-using mothers creating hazardous environments for the babies after birth.
"The results of this study indicate that maternal alcohol-use disorder increases the risk of SIDS and (infant deaths) through direct effects on the fetus and indirectly through environmental risk factors," wrote researchers led by Colleen O'Leary from Curtin University in Perth, Australia.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as the death of a child under one year old with no obvious cause. Approximately 4,500 infant deaths fall into this category every year in the United States, according to the CDC.
Previously, researchers have tied SIDS to parents' smoking and to unsafe environments, but few studies have looked at whether alcohol could be involved in some of the deaths.
The study team examined information on 77,895 women who gave birth between 1983 and 2005, comparing the number of SIDS and infant deaths that occurred in children of mothers with a diagnosed drinking problem, to cases among the children of mothers without a diagnosis.
Overall, 171 SIDS cases occurred during that time in children born to the 21,841 women who were diagnosed heavy drinkers. Among the children who were born to 56,054 mothers without a diagnosis, there were 132 SIDS cases.
The researchers found that children born to mothers who drank heavily during pregnancy had a seven-fold increase in the risk of SIDS, compared to children of mothers without a drinking problem.
Babies also had a nine-fold increased risk of SIDS when their mothers drank within the year after birth, compared to babies born to mothers who didn't drink.
"One of the morals of the story is that parents should be very careful about drinking alcohol, especially if you're a single parent because there is no other parent to back you up," said David Phillips, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied alcohol-related infant deaths but wasn't involved in the story.
O'Leary and her colleagues, who could not be reached for comment, also report that heavy drinking during pregnancy was tied to a doubled risk of infants dying from a cause unrelated to SIDS, compared to babies of mothers who were not heavy drinkers.
They added that previous research suggests babies exposed to alcohol in the womb may have abnormalities in the brainstem, which could lead to problems regulating basic body functions like breathing.
But Phillips pointed out that the study found a link between infant deaths and a mother's drinking as long as one year after giving birth. "So it can't just be a biological explanation of what's going on," he said.
The mothers may be creating unsafe environments for their children, Phillips said, while O'Leary's team wrote that it found a number of causes for the children's deaths, including problems related to alcohol exposure in the womb and factors such as smoke inhalation, dehydration, infections and neglect.
The researchers found that on average the rate of tuberculosis (TB) in big cities was twice the rate of the national TB incidence
Residual sour gas was then burnt in flares at Kashagan's processing plants, polluting the environment, the ministry said in a statement.
Researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years
The CPC's latest outlook brings the forecaster in line with other global meteorologists that have raised their outlook for El Nino's potential return this year.
The child is the second case, following an earlier instance in Mississippi, in which doctors may have brought HIV in a newborn into remission by administering antiretroviral drugs in the first hours of life.
"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," PM Li told the almost 3,000 delegates to the country's largely rubber-stamp legislature in a wide-ranging address carried live on state television.
The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads to a thickening of children's artery walls, adding some 3.3 years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.
Professor Jean-Michel Claverie, from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University of Aix-Marseille in France, said "this is the first time we've seen a virus that's still infectious after this length of time."
The 76-year-old man died on Sunday, 75 days after the operation, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris said in a statement, adding that the cause of his death could not be known for sure at this stage.
Pacific islanders were eating fewer coconuts as a source of fat and many people in Southeast Asia were getting fewer calories from rice
The researchers had been able to clone the antibodies and would test if they were able to give immunity to a person without the virus
The condition of the baby with kidney disease returns to normal after doctors in the Turkish city of Konya decide against abortion to begin treatment in the womb
Australia's conservative government approved plans to dredge 3 million cubic metres of sand for the port expansion
Frequent nightmares were very common for one in ten children, especially between the ages of three and seven, but effects resulting from nightmares were much more severe in 12-year-olds.
The JAMA Psychiatry suggested that tihis was in connection to sperm mutations in men who become fathers relatively late in life, after comparing children of 24-year-old fathers and 45-year-old fathers.
Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market.