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Eur J Pediatr. 2009 Sep;168(9):1101-6. doi: 10.1007/s00431-008-0895-7. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Improved general health of international adoptees, but immunization status still insufficient.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital /University Medical Centre Utrecht, KE 04.1331, P.O. Box 85090, Utrecht 3508 AB, The Netherlands.


We studied the demographic and clinical data from 495 adopted children seen between January 2002 and January 2007 to evaluate the medical condition and immunization status of international adoptees. The data of children from Chinese origin (53.5%) were compared to children arriving from other countries. Medical problems requiring treatment were present in 42.8% of the children. Parasitic gastrointestinal infection (22.0%) and skin abnormalities (22.4%) were diagnosed most often. Hepatitis B (1.2%) and tuberculosis (1%) were documented in some children; HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis were not seen in any of the children. Antibody levels against diphtheria and tetanus were insufficient in about half of all children, particularly in those from China. In conclusion, most adoptive children had a good general health, with only a few having major medical problems. Many adoptive children had an inadequate immunization status.

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