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June 6, 1986

Surveillance for Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome

JAMA. 1986;255(21):2893. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370210061007

To the Editor.—  Sudden unexplained death syndrome (SUDS) is the death of a person at least 2 years of age for whom a postmortem examination does not reveal the underlying cause of death; the decedent must have been born in or have had at least one parent born in Vietnam, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Laos, Thailand, the Philippines, or some other Southeast Asian country. This syndrome is also known as "night death," "sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome," "Pokkuri" in Japan, and "Bangungut" in the Philippines.Since July 1977, ninety-six cases of SUDS have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from 20 states. A preliminary report on the first 38 cases appeared in 1981.1 A detailed description of the first 51 cases, including a case-control study, appeared in The Journal in December 1983 and covered cases occurring before April 1982.2 Several recent articles and letters have described additional