BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
The supine sleeping position with the head higher than the legs has no impact on regurgitations in infants. Inclined ventral decubitus decreases regurgitations but is associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The LUNE study aimed to evaluate the impact of regurgitations on the choice of sleeping position by pediatricians and parents.
Cross-sectional case-control study (ratio 1:1) conducted in France in 2013. A representative sample of pediatricians recruited 3-week to 4-month-old breast- or formula-fed infants. Cases and controls were defined by the presence or absence of regurgitations. Collected data included Vandenplas codification for regurgitations (VD, range 0-6), associated symptoms, and variations in sleeping position since maternity hospital discharge.
A total of 1347 cases and 1346 controls were recruited by 493 pediatricians. Regurgitations were evaluated at VD1 (minor, 22 % of cases), VD2 (mild, 47 % of cases), or VD≥3 (moderate to severe, 31 % of cases). At the maternity hospital, the supine position was recommended to 96 % of parents for SIDS prevention. Since discharge, parents asked questions about the relationship between sleeping position and regurgitations (79 % of infants with GER versus 45 % of controls). The sleeping position was modified at least once since maternity discharge (42 % of infants with GER versus 35 % of controls). At inclusion, 86 % of infants with GER and 86 % of controls were sleeping on their back. Fifty-one percent of infants with GER and 28 % of controls slept in an inclined position. Pediatricians repeated the prescription of dorsal decubitus for 91 % of infants with GER and recommended an inclined position in 70 %.
Regurgitations had no impact on supine sleeping position. The inclined supine sleeping position was more frequent in infants with regurgitations with pediatricians’ assent, which is not in agreement with evidence-based medicine.