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Pediatrics. 1983 Jun;71(6):871-6.

Croup: an 11-year study in a pediatric practice.

Abstract

The etiology and epidemiology of croup were studied in a pediatric group practice over an 11-year period, 1964 to 1975. Croup was diagnosed in 951 instances in 6,165 cases of lower respiratory tract infection (LRI) studied. As census figures of the practice clientele were available, attack rates were calculated. The incidence of total LRI was highest in the first year of life. In contrast, the attack rate for croup was highest in the second year of life; the rate declined gradually after that age. Croup was not diagnosed in the first month of life. Boys were 1.43 times more likely to develop croup than were girls. Three hundred sixty agents were isolated from the 951 croup cases. The parainfluenza viruses accounted for 74.2% of all isolates; 65% of the parainfluenza isolates were classified as parainfluenza virus type 1. Respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses A and B, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were the only other agents isolated in appreciable numbers. The propensity of various agents to produce croup symptoms in children with LRI due to specific microorganisms was 58% for parainfluenzae type 1,60% for parainfluenzae type 2, and 29% for parainfluenzae type 3; similar figures for the other agents varied from 5% to 16%. The role of the various agents in the etiology of croup varied with patient age and depended on the propensity of the agent to produce the croup syndrome and the frequency of isolation of the agent at that age. The parainfluenza viruses were the most important croup agents at all ages; respiratory syncytial virus caused croup in children less than 5 years of age whereas the influenza viruses and M pneumoniae were significant causes of croup only in children more than 5 to 6 years old. Croup occurred predominately in late fall and early winter, times when the parainfluenza viruses, especially type 1, occurred most frequently. The epidemiology of croup differs from that of bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and tracheobronchitis; knowledge of this should be helpful to the clinician caring for children with LRI.

PMID:
6304611
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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