• racial disparity;
  • SIDS;
  • sleep-related infant death;
  • socioeconomic factors



Though the Back to Sleep Campaign that began in 1994 caused an overall decrease in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rates, racial disparity has continued to increase in St. Louis. Though researchers have analyzed and described various sociodemographic characteristics of SIDS and infant deaths by unintentional suffocation in St. Louis, they have not simultaneously controlled for contributory risk factors to racial disparity such as race, poverty, maternal education, and number of children born to each mother (parity). To determine whether there is a relationship between maternal socioeconomic factors and sleep-related infant death.

Design and Sample

This quantitative case-control study used secondary data collected by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services between 2005 and 2009. The sample includes matched birth/death certificates and living birth certificates of infants who were born/died within time frame.


Descriptive analysis, Chi-square, and logistic regression.


The controls were birth records of infants who lived more than 1 year. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses confirmed that race and poverty have significant relationships with infant sleep-related deaths.


The social significance of this study is that the results may lead to population-specific modifications of prevention messages that will reduce infant sleep-related deaths.