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A relationship between viral infection and sudden death syndrome in infants is suggested by a recent study, a Cleveland pediatrician reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in New York.
The same study did not support another current hypothesis that such deaths in infants are due to hypersensitivity to cow's milk, according to Eli Gold, MD, Department of Pediatrics and Contagious Diseases, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital.
Gold and his colleagues conducted a study in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where approximately one-third of infant deaths between the ages of 10 days and 2 years are sudden, unexpected, and unexplained.
It has been estimated that there are 10,000 to 15,000 deaths of this type each year in the US. "The lack of satisfactory objective explanation for these deaths has led to much speculation," Gold said.
"Perhaps in especially susceptible infants, infection with a viral agent can follow
Sudden Death Syndrome in Infants Studied. JAMA. 1964;190(9):41. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070220085042