The Role of Breastfeeding in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Kristine L.S.P. McVea, Paul D. Turner, Dawnette K. Peppler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to review the literature regarding the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in bottle-fed infants compared to those that are breastfed. A meta-analysis and qualitative literature review were performed. Cohort and case-control studies were included if they met a minimum SIDS definition and presented data allowing calculation of an odds ratio (OR). Twenty-three studies were included in the meta-analysis. The studies were heterogeneous, and a majority (14) were of "fair" or "poor" quality. Crude ORs from 19 individual studies favored breastfeeding as protective against SIDS. The combined analysis indicated that bottle-fed infants were twice as likely to die from SIDS (pooled OR = 2.11;95% CI 1.66-2.68). The results of the analysis show that there is an association between bottle-feeding and SIDS, but this may be related to confounding variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Breastfeeding
  • Infant nutrition
  • Meta-analysis
  • Sudden infant death syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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