Korea's Fan-Death Theory Disproven?
All my valiant efforts to defend Korea's Fan-Death Theory may be for naught if a new study is bourne out by the evidence.
A study conducted by Kimberly Coleman-Phox (MPH), Roxana Odouli (MSPH), and De-Kun Li (MD, PhD), "Use of a Fan During Sleep and the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 162 No. 10, October 2008, offers the following conclusion:
Fan use may be an effective intervention for further decreasing SIDS risk in infants in adverse sleep environments.For those readers who enjoy perusing statistics, here are the results:
Fan use during sleep was associated with a 72% reduction in SIDS risk (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.10-0.77). The reduction in SIDS risk seemed more pronounced in adverse sleep environments. For example, fan use in warmer room temperatures was associated with a greater reduction in SIDS risk (AOR, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.01-0.52) compared with cooler room temperatures (0.77; 0.22-2.73). Similarly, the reduction associated with fan use was greater in infants placed in the prone or side sleep position (AOR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03-0.55) vs supine (0.84; 0.21-3.39). Fan use was associated with a greater reduction in SIDS risk in infants who shared a bed with an individual other than their parents (AOR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.01-1.85) vs with a parent (0.40; 0.03-4.68). Finally, fan use was associated with reduced SIDS risk in infants not using pacifiers (AOR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.07-0.69) but not in pacifier users (1.99; 0.16-24.4). Some differences in the effect of fan use on SIDS risk did not reach statistical significance.In clearer English, the article says:
Rebreathing exhaled carbon dioxide trapped by bedding near an infant's airway has been suggested as a possible mechanism for the occurrence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Increased air movement in the room of a sleeping infant may potentially decrease the accumulation of carbon dioxide around the infant's nose and mouth and decrease the likelihood of rebreathing exhaled gas. In this case-control study of 185 infants with confirmed SIDS, fan use during sleep was associated with a 72% reduction in the risk of SIDS. The reduction in the risk of SIDS appeared more pronounced in warmer rooms, for infants placed in a prone or side sleeping position, and for those who did not use a pacifier or who shared a bed. Use of a fan in the room of a sleeping infant is an easily available means of possibly further reducing SIDS risk.I haven't read the entire article because one needs a subscription, but two factors were studied, as indicated by "Intervention":
Fan use and open window during sleep.I have to assume that these two factors were studied separately; otherwise, the study is fatally flawed, for if a fan were on all night in a room with an open window, then the significant factor could be the open window, and Korea's Fan-Death Theory would remain undisproven.
Perhaps I can try to access the article from a university computer later today.