Monday, March 18, 2013

Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy Syndrome - ethnicity

The really good news is the general SUDI rate is trending down - significantly. But:
"We were especially concerned to see that the rate of death in Maori and Pacific infants is significantly higher than for European infants,'' Dr Baker said.
"We're not sure exactly why this is, although differences in the rate of smoking during pregnancy may be a factor. We know that infants exposed to cigarette smoke in pregnancy tend to be smaller and are more prone to suffocation.''

A summary of the first results from Growing Up In NZ, a birth cohort study, found:

* More than one in 10 mothers continued to smoke through their pregnancies (with an over-representation of those identifying as Maori and living in the most deprived areas.)
Again (and I could write a paper on this subject) conflating Maori and Pacific isn't helpful.

Over 2003 to 2007 there were 202 SUDI deaths for Maori babies; 42 for Pacific; 4 for Asian and 80 for 'other'. The rate (per relevant population) for Pacific is well under Maori although higher than 'other'.

Any report that differentiates between 'Maori and Pacific' and 'other'  should  go  further and highlight the difference between Maori and Pacific. That story also holds important clues.

No comments: