SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

What is SIDS?


National Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Vital Statistics System annually releases national data on infant mortality, which includes information on the number of SIDS deaths and rates. NICHD also conducts a household survey that examines a number of different infant care practices such as sleep position, breastfeeding and child care. Chapter 6: Reasearch & Statistics provides a detailed discussion on using statistics to support risk reduction efforts and evaluation of program efforts.

The preliminary infant mortality rate in 2010 decreased to a rate of 6.14 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with a rate of 6.39 in 2009.16Aside from the years 2002 and 2005, the infant mortality rate has either stayed the same or decreased though there continues to be an inequity amongst black and white populations.  For example though the rate has decreased for all there continues to be a gap in rates between black and white infants.  Both populations did see a decrease; blacks from 12.64 per 1000 live births in 2009 to 11.61 The white population saw a decrease from 5.30 infant deaths per 1000 live births to 5.19 in 2010.  The black infant mortality rate though remains greater than 2 times the rate for white infants.

According to preliminary data from the CDC, there were 24,548 infant deaths in the United States in 2010. Of those deaths, 1,890 were due to SIDS.  This number is the preliminary and SIDS deaths often involve lengthy investigations, the mortality rate due to SIDS is typically lower based on preliminary data than that based on the final data. It is important to also consider that recent declines in mortality due to SIDS also may reflect a change in the way SIDS is diagnosed and reported by medical examiners and coroners.17The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has invested significant resources in assisting state and local medical examiners in conducting thorough death scene investigations to improve data collection and reporting.