Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Karen M. Perrin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Gulitz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffery Kromrey, Ph.D.


SIDS, maternal risk factors, fetal hypoxia, prenatal outcomes, infant


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the third leading cause of infant mortality between birth and the first year of life in the United States. Along with the identification of various maternal risk factors, the role of fetal hypoxia has been hypothesized to be one of many causal factors associated with SIDS. The purpose of this study was to develop a profile of the SIDS infant and assess whether six pregnancy complications consistent with fetal hypoxia were associated with the increased outcome of SIDS. The secondary data analysis of Florida linked birth to death certificate data specific to Hillsborough County and Duval County were analyzed retrospectively for the period of time between 1998 and 2000. Of the 86, 342 births, 69 SIDS cases were identified, 34 in Hillsborough County and 35 in Duval County. A majority of the infants were White males with an average age of death of 80 days. The Chi-Square test for Independence with Cramer's V, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to determine if an association existed between pregnancy complications, specific maternal risk factors and SIDS. Eclampsia was the only statistically significant prenatal complication found in this cohort (OR=4.67: 95% CI 1.49, 14.57). Maternal tobacco use (OR= 3.13: 95% CI 1.83, 5.36) and late initiation into prenatal care were also found to be significant in the SIDS cases, with the greatest risk occuring in women who did not receive prenatal care (OR=4.37: 95% CI 1.38, 13.89). These findings will assist with the development of a profile of infants who are at greater risk of dying of SIDS in Hillsborough County and Duval County as well as contribute to what is currently known about the association between fetal hypoxia and SIDS.