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Smoking doubles risk of SIDS, says new study between Seattle Children's and Microsoft

Over 20 million live births and 19,000 SIDS deaths were analyzed to understand the risk of smoking during pregnancy, in a collaborative study between Seattle Children's and Microsoft.

SEATTLE — The first-ever collaboration between Seattle Children's Research Institute and Microsoft's Data Science into the relationship between smoking during pregnancy and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has produced findings that prove an increase of SIDS when a mother has as few as one cigarette a day during gestation.

Seattle Children's Neuroscience Researcher Dr. Tatiana Anderson says that there is definitive proof that the risk to a baby goes up as the mother smokes more.

"We've known for years that there is a relationship between smoking during pregnancy and an increased risk of SIDS. However, our study looks at that relationship at a much higher resolution. And part of that is because we're looking at a giant data set. So we analyzed over 20 million live births in the United States which included over 19,000 cases of sudden unexpected death. We found that smoking just a single cigarette a day during pregnancy doubles your risk for a SIDS related death and every cigarette that you increase after that increases that risk even more so that smoking a pack a day or 20 cigarettes a day actually triples your risk. We also found that smoking before you get pregnant is dangerous." 

Microsoft's Senior Director of Data Science, Juan Lavista says that they have the expertise and technology to analyze gigantic amounts of data and they plan to use that ability for the good of humanity.

RELATED: Seattle Children's: A cigarette during pregnancy doubles risk of infant death

"So this is our first research for humanitarian action and we want to use A.I. to help with some of the world's biggest challenges. And one of the most important pillars of that program is the needs of children and this is how we started working on SIDS."

Lavista said this study is just the beginning of a remarkable pairing between two industry leaders and said we can expect more in the future.

Dr. Anderson wants women to know that if you smoke now, the sooner you quit the better you'll ensure the health and survivability of your offspring. 

This story is sponsored by Seattle Children's