A survey of 241 cases of cot death reported to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths is compared with more formal epidemiological studies. As expected the cases tend to be drawn from the higher social classes, and this selection affects some of the data--for instance, mothers' age and feeding practice. Nevertheless, data relating to the infants and their histories are remarkably similar to data from other studies. The survey provides a continuous epidemiological monitor as well as being of therapeutic value to the parents and should be continued.
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