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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 169365, 4 pages
Research Article

Population-Based Study of the Association between Urbanization and Kawasaki Disease in Taiwan

1Department of Healthcare Management, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
2Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
4Department of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University-Wanfang Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
5Institute of Master Program for Clinical Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacoproteomics, School of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
6Cancer Center, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
7Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan

Received 16 April 2013; Accepted 2 June 2013

Academic Editors: D. Caselli, L. Genitori, and F. Kneepkens

Copyright © 2013 Wei-Pin Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. It is unclear if the prevalence of Kawasaki disease (KD) correlates with the degree of urbanization. We hypothesized that the prevalence of KD is more pronounced in urban versus rural environments. Methods. The National Health Insurance (NHI) program was implemented in Taiwan in 1995 and covers most of the population (>99%). We used the NHI database to investigate the epidemiological features of KD. A total of 115 diagnosed patients with KD from 1997 to 2010 were included, together with 1,150 matched controls without KD. Chi-square analyses were performed to investigate the difference between modern city and rural environments. Results. Of the 1265 sampled subjects (claims data from 1,000,000 random subjects), the mean age of the KD study group and control group was 2.08 ± 1.66 and 2.08 ± 1.64 years, respectively. After matching for age, sex, and same index date, no statistically significant differences in urbanization level and geographical location of the patients' residence were observed. Conclusion. Urbanization did not appear to be an important effect modifier of Kawasaki disease in Taiwan.