Early childhood exposure to maternal smoking and Kawasaki Disease: A longitudinal survey in Japan

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Kawasaki disease is the leading cause of acquired childhood heart disease in most developed countries, but the etiology of the disease is unknown. An aberrant immune response to some environmental triggers may play a role and involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke can alter immune functions. We thus prospectively examined the association between early childhood exposure to maternal smoking and the incidence of Kawasaki disease. We used a large, nationwide population-based longitudinal survey ongoing since 2010 and restricted participants to a total of 38,444 children for whom information on maternal smoking was available. Maternal smoking status was ascertained at 6 months of age, and responses to questions about hospital admission for Kawasaki disease between the ages of 6 and 30 months were used as outcome. We conducted binomial log-linear regression analyses adjusting for children's, parental, and residential factors with children of non-smoking mothers as our reference group. Maternal smoking increased the risk of admission, in particular for the period between 6 and 18 months of age, in a dose-dependent manner. Compared with children of non-smoking mothers, the children of mothers who smoked had a risk ratio of 1.83 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 3.35) for hospital admissions between 6 and 30 months of age and a risk ratio of 2.69 (95% confidence interval: 1.56, 4.64) for hospital admissions between 6 and 18 months of age. Early childhood exposure to maternal smoking may increase the risk of Kawasaki disease hospitalizations in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2019



  • Early childhood exposure
  • Epidemiology
  • Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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