207014 Safe Sleeping Practices Among African Americans in the 2005 Los Angeles LAMB Study

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Paymon Ebrahimzadeh, MA , Maternal Child & Adolescent Health, Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Yvonne Y. Lau, MPH, RD , Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Shin Margaret Chao, PhD, MPH , Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Angel Hopson, RN, MSN, MPH , Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County-Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, CA
Diana E. Ramos, MD, MPH , Reproductive Health, Los Angeles County-Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Cynthia Harding, MPH , Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Objective: Despite steady decreases in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) mortality rates in recent years, rates continue to differ significantly by race/ethnicity. We examined the prevalence of safe sleeping practices in relation to race and ethnicity in Los Angeles County (LAC) to discover possible gaps in prevention efforts to improve SIDS related mortality rates.


We used data from 2005 LAMB Survey. The LAMB Project is a biennial population-based representative sample of postpartum women. Questions related to safe sleeping practice included side, back and stomach positions. Chi-squared and Fisher's Exact tests were used to discover significant differences between the mother's race/ethnicity and sleep position practices.

Results: The project included a total of 5211 respondents. Among the respondents, sleeping position practices varied significantly across racial groups (p<0.0001). Weighted prevalence rates regarding sleep practices shows that while 76.8% of White women report placing their children ‘back to sleep', only 52.2% of African Americans report the same. African Americans reported placing their children on their backs significantly less often than both Latinas and Whites (both p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate striking differences in sleep position practices between racial groups in Los Angeles County. African Americans experience excess mortality rate due to SIDS compared to other groups. Thus, efforts should be directed to decrease the incidence of infant mortality in this highest prevalence group. Current efforts in LAC are working towards decreasing harmful practices. Efforts should be continued and refined in order to improve outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn about a population-based epidemiology study. 2. Gain insight into possible disparities regarding infant health. 3. Identify prevention and intervention needs for improving infant health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Working with the Department of Public Health, and intensely with the LAMB study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.