Background: Previous studies showed that preterm birth increased the risk for hospital admissions in infancy and childhood due to some acute diseases. However, the risk of preterm children developing Kawasaki disease remains unknown. In the present study, we investigate whether preterm birth increased the morbidity of Kawasaki disease. Methods: We included 36,885 (34,880 term and 2005 preterm) children born in 2010 in Japan. We examined the association between preterm birth and hospitalization due to Kawasaki disease using a large nationwide survey in Japan. Results: In log-linear regression models that were adjusted for children’s characteristics (sex, singleton birth, and parity), parental characteristics (maternal age, maternal smoking, paternal smoking, maternal education, and paternal income), and residential area, preterm infants were more likely to be hospitalized due to Kawasaki disease (adjusted risk ratio: 1·55, 95% confidence interval: 1.01–2.39). We then examined whether breastfeeding status modified the potential adverse effects of preterm birth on health outcome. Preterm infants with partial breastfeeding or formula feeding had a significantly higher risk of hospitalization due to Kawasaki disease compared with term infants with exclusive breastfeeding. Conclusions: Preterm infants were at a high risk for Kawasaki disease, and exclusive breastfeeding might prevent this disease among preterm infants. Impact: Previous studies showed that preterm birth increased the risk for hospital admissions in infancy and childhood due to some acute diseases, however, the risk of preterm children developing Kawasaki disease remains unknown.This Japanese large population-based study showed that preterm infants were at a high risk for Kawasaki disease for the first time.Furthermore, this study suggested that exclusively breastfeeding might prevent Kawasaki disease among preterm infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health