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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Sep;19(9):828-32.

The incidence of Kawasaki syndrome in West Coast health maintenance organizations.

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  • 1Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Kawasaki syndrome (KS) causes an acute vasculitis of unknown etiology. It is a leading cause of acquired heart disease of children in Japan and the United States.


We examined the incidence of KS in a well-defined population group of children < or =6 years of age, using data collected through the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project. The VSD database contains information on >1 million children enrolled in four West Coast health maintenance organizations (HMOs).


During 1993 through 1996 a total of 234 physician-diagnosed KS patients were reported in the 4 HMOs; 152 (65.0%) were boys and 195 (83.3%) were <5 years of age. The incidence of KS among children <5 years of age in the HMOs ranged from 9.0 to 19.1 per 100,000 person years. KS incidence was higher among boys in 3 of the sites. In the 2 sites with the highest number of KS patients, a seasonal occurrence of KS in winter and early spring was observed. Overall 226 (96.6%) of the KS patients were reported to have been hospitalized; hospitalization rates for children <5 years of age ranged from 9.0 to 16.8 per 100,000 person years.


The incidence of KS in the HMOs was similar to that reported in other population-based studies in the United States and higher than estimates for Australia and several European countries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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