Bradford Infant Care Study (BradICS): Infant care and SIDS prevention in a biethnic population

Understanding ethnic variation in infant care practices is crucial in determining the need for public health interventions aimed at altering infant care practices; designing interventions targeted towards multicultural populations; and contextualising health promotion and risk prevention strategies.

This study aims to identify dominant infant care practices in the Asian-origin and European-origin communities in Bradford that may be risk-reducing or risk-enhancing in relation to the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The purpose of this study (BradICS) is to explore to drivers of the observed difference in SIDS-rates between infants born to mothers of S. Asian and European origin in the UK.

In collaboration with Born in Bradford (BiB, a large birth cohort study currently underway in Bradford) we propose to link an investigation of post-natal infant care practices with prenatal, clinical, and socio-demographic variables for 5000 S. Asian and European origin families in order to further understand the sources of variation in observed SIDS rates.

This study will employ structured telephone interviews to obtain quantitative information on postnatal infant care practices for 2000-2500 families with 8-12 week-old infants participating in the Born in Bradford study – a longitudinal cohort study launched in 2007 examining the health outcomes of 10,000 babies born in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

By embedding this project within the Born in Bradford study, we will be able to access detailed demographic, socio-economic, familial and prenatal data already obtained for our target families. We therefore have the opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of the range of infant care practices within Bradford, particularly with respect to variation by ethnicity.

While the number of actual sudden unexpected deaths in infancy is likely to be relatively small in a cohort of this size information on their occurrence will be collected. Knowledge of the dominant infant care practises in the two predominant ethnic groups, and their interactions with prenatal risk factors, may shed light on the importance of infant care practises in mediating risk of infant death.