Quick Facts Safe Sleep in Minnesota

Quick facts
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death in Minnesota

The number of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) cases each year has varied between 2000 and 2016.

  • An average of 57 SUID cases happen each year.
  • The number of SUID cases peaked in 2008 at 73 cases.
  • In 2010, there were only 39 SUID cases.

Between 2010 and 2016, there were more SUID cases seen in October than in any other month.

SUID disparities

The likelihood of SUID differs by race/ethnicity.

  • American Indians have a significantly higher rate of SUID.
  • SUID rates in Minnesota for American Indians are almost four times higher than non-Hispanic whites.
  • African American infants are nearly twice as likely to experience SUID compared to non-hispanic white infants.
  • Infants with foreign born mothers are less likely to die of SUID compared to U.S. born mothers.

SUID risk factors

Infant age and weight are risk factors for SUID.

  • Between 2010 and 2016, 77% of SUID deaths occur between one and six months of age, and 52% of SUID deaths occur between one and three months of age.
  • The higher the birthweight, the lower the rate of SUID death.

The sleep setting can have a major impact on SUID risk.

  • 93% of SUID cases between 2014 and 2015 had objects or persons in sleep environment
  • 54% of SUID cases between 2014 and 2015 happened while the child was sharing a bed.
  • 47% of SUID cases between 2010 and 2016 happened while the child slept in an adult bed.

Tobacco, drug and alcohol use can all factor into SUID risk.

  • In 46% of all SUID cases between 2014 and 2015 the baby was exposed to tobacco.
  • In 20% of all SUID cases between 2014 and 2015 the baby was exposed to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.

Factors that reduce SUID

There are factors that can reduce a child’s risk of SUID.

  • Getting at least six prenatal care visits decreases SUID risk by nearly 70%.1
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SUID by 61%.

Additional resources

For more information

Contact Gloria Mutombo, Epidemiologist, Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5492 or Gloria.Mutombo@state.mn.us.

1MDH analysis using Vital records/statistics from 2010-2016