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Mothers' Alcohol Intake Linked to SIDS Deaths

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Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has no known signs or symptoms, researchers in Australia have linked at least one risky behavior in mothers to SIDS.

Mothers who were diagnosed with a drinking problem either during pregnancy or within the year after giving birth have children with a risk of SIDS that is three times higher than normal, scientists concluded in a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. Although SIDS deaths have halved since 1990, it is the leading cause of death in babies up to 1 year old, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Plus: Complete Health Guide to SIDS

While the researchers did find a link between a mother's alcoholism and SIDS, the causal relationship has yet to be established. David P. Philipps of the University of California San Diego sad he wasn't surprised by the findings: ""We know that when people are under the influence of alcohol, they perform tasks much more poorly, including parenting," he said to WebMD.

Were you surprised by the findings of this study? Let us know in the comments

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