Racial/ethnic differences in the incidence of Kawasaki syndrome among children in Hawaii

Hawaii Med J. 2010 Aug;69(8):194-7.


Objective: To describe the occurrence of Kawasaki syndrome (KS) among different racial/ethnic groups in Hawaii.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of children <18 years of age, with a focus on children <5 years of age, living in Hawaii who were hospitalized with KS using the 1996-2006 Hawaii State Inpatient Data.

Results: Children <5 years of age accounted for 84% of the 528 patients <18 years of age with KS. The average annual incidence among this age group was 50.4 per 100,000 children <5 years of age, ranging from 45.5 to 56.5. Asian and Pacific Islander children accounted for 92% of the children <5 years of age with KS during the study period; the average annual incidence was 62.9 per 100,000. Within this group, Japanese children had the highest incidence (210.5), followed by Native Hawaiian children (86.9), other Asian children (84.9), and Chinese children (83.2). The incidence for white children (13.7) was lower than for these racial/ethnic groups. The median age of KS admission for children <5 years of age was 21 months overall, 24 months for Japanese children, 14.5 months for Native Hawaiian children and 26.5 months for white children.

Conclusions: The high average annual KS incidence for children <5 years of age in Hawaii compared to the rest of the United States population reflects an increased KS incidence among Asian and Pacific Islander children, especially Japanese children. The incidence for white children was slightly higher than or similar to that generally reported nationwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Asian People
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White People