Several recent studies1-5 have focused on the pathophysiological features, diagnostic procedures, and criteria of the shaken baby syndrome. Brenner et al6 noted that demographic information on shaken infants and their families is scarce. We were impressed with the seemingly large proportion of children of military families (military dependents) in the population of shaken infants seen at our hospital. Limited prior research has produced divergent conclusions as to whether military dependents are at higher risk of child maltreatment.7 The purpose of our study was to investigate whether military dependents were overrepresented among children hospitalized with shaken baby syndrome and if their pattern of injury or outcomes differed from those of children in the civilian population.
Methods. We reviewed the charts of all infants with a diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome between January 1, 1989, and February 28, 1993, at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill. Patients