Special Broadcasting Service (AU)
A new study has found genetics could partly explain why Caucasian children are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than children from other ethnic groups.
Research from the Hunter Medical Research Institute in New South Wales has shown a link between human genes, the body’s ability to fight infection and infants who die from SIDS.
Director of Genetics at the Institute, Professor Rodney Scott, says caucasian populations appear to have a genetic predisposition which protects them against inflammatory infections and in therefore SIDS.
“Australian Aborigines belong to the background that’s associated with SIDS. It’s also common in other populations around the world such as indigenous groups in New Zealand and American Black population as well.
“All of these groups have higher incidences of SIDS, which is related not only to their socioeconomic status but also to the fact that they also have a genetic predisposition,” he said.
The research has also found cigarette smoking wipes out any effect that the genetic background might have, and has a significant impact on increasing the risk of SIDS in children.