Thermal balance and metabolic rate during upper respiratory tract infection in infants.
ABSTRACT Sequential recordings were made in the first five months after birth of metabolic rate, environmental temperature, and body temperature during sleep at home in 17 infants, each with an older sibling. Further recordings were made whenever an older sibling developed an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), again four to six days later, and again two weeks later, aiming to achieve recordings before, during, and after an URTI in the infant. The temperature of the room and wrapping of the infant were determined according to their usual practice by the parents. Parents added appropriate wrapping to achieve thermal neutrality based on our calculated values and the measured oxygen consumption. In five of the six infants who developed an URTI in the first three months after birth there was no change or a decrease in metabolic rate at the time of the infection; for infants older than 3 months the metabolic rate increased in three of the five episodes recorded. Peripheral skin temperature decreased at the time of URTI at all ages, though in the older infants it usually increased in parallel with rectal temperature during the latter part of the night, when pyrexia was most common. Infants thus respond to URTI by heat conservation. In the younger infants the lower metabolic rate and the further decrease in this rate with URTI means that fever is rare, and their temperature may decrease on infection. In the older infants the increase in metabolic rate (from an already higher baseline) may result in fever. These differences may contribute to the increased vulnerability of the older infants to heat stress, particularly at the time of acute viral infections.
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ABSTRACT: The authors investigated risk profiles of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as a function of age at death. A case-control study carried out in the Tyrol region of Austria enrolled 99 infants who died of SIDS between 1984 and 1994 and 136 randomly selected controls. Early and late SIDS (< 120 days of age vs. > or = 120 days) were defined according to the clear-cut bimodal age-at-death distribution. Inadequate antenatal care, low parental social and educational level, and the prone sleeping position were risk conditions that applied to both early and late SIDS. A marked seasonal variation (winter preponderance) was the most outstanding feature of late SIDS. A gestational age of < 37 weeks (odds ratio (OR) = 8.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6-26.0), repeated episodes of apnea (OR = 5.7, 95% CI 1.2-27.0), low birth weight (< 2,500 g) (OR = 3.4, 95% CI 1.1-11.0), a family history of sudden infant death (OR = 2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.5), and maternal smoking during pregnancy (OR = 2.2, 95% CI 1.0-4.5) were associated with early SIDS. This study identified two distinct subgroups of SIDS infants characterized by different risk conditions and ages at death. These results underline a multiple-cause hypothesis for SIDS etiology which involves a genetic predisposition, immaturity in the first months of life, and environmental factors acting at various ages.American Journal of Epidemiology 06/1998; 147(10):960-8. · 5.22 Impact Factor