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Article
January 1988

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Opioid Peptides From Milk

Author Affiliations

Department of Anesthesiology New York University Medical Center 550 First Ave New York, NY 10016
Department of Pediatrics University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford 1601 Parkview Ave Rockford, IL 61107

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(1):12-13. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150010018006
Abstract

Sir.—Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the most common cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age.1 The cause of this tragic event is believed to be multifactorial. Some of these factors include maternal factors, such as narcotic addiction, young age, poor nutrition, and smoking during pregnancy; other factors include multiple births, prematurity, and heredity. A special group of children have functional abnormality of the pontomedullary respiratory center and autonomic nervous system, which may result in severe apnea or sudden death.2 Airway obstruction due to reflux or respiratory infection plays a contributing role in the susceptible child.

One thing that is common to all these children is that milk is their main food source. Infants fed either formula preparations or human milk have similar risks for SIDS. Milk comprises a heterogeneous mixture of proteins that can be separated, characterized, and classified into

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