BACKGROUND: It is known that Asians are at greater risk of developing Kawasaki Disease (KD). However, a retrospective study in the province of Quebec suggested a higher rate of KD among French descendent Canadians compared to non-French Canadians and Asians.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The aim was to assess if French Canadians are at greater risk of developing KD compared to other ethnicities in Quebec and to evaluate the distribution of KD among other ethnicities. Patients diagnosed with KD between 2001 to 2017 were interviewed to evaluate their ethnic background. Results were compared to the data obtained from Statistics Canada regarding the distribution of ethnicities among Quebec Province for children aged 0-5 years old (statistical years 1996, 2001, 2006). Proportion Ratios (PR) were calculated for each ethnic origin. Of 411 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 301 (73.2%) patients were reachable. Of those, 237 (78.7%) consented to participate. The largest self-reported ethnic origin was North-American (which includes American, Canadian, Quebecer and other provincial groups) with 154/237 (65.0%) of KD patients vs 62.4% of the population of Quebec (PR=1.04) (Figure 1) whereas other identifications were: French origins 61/237 (25.7%) vs. 30.5% (PR=0.84); Arab/Maghrebi origins 28/237 (11.8%) vs. 3.8% (PR=3.13); East and South-East Asia 21/237 (8.9%) vs. 3.0% (PR=2.98); Origins from central, South and Latin America 13/237 (5.5%) vs. 1.8% (PR=2.97); African 9/237 (3.8%) vs. 1.5% (PR=2.60); Caribbean origins 11/237 (4.6%) vs. 2.6% (PR=1.79); British Isles 9/237 (3.8%) vs.10.1% (PR=0.37). Native American, European, Oceanian and other Asian origins did not show significant predominance for KD.
CONCLUSION: In this cohort, KD was not more predominant in French descendent, but had the highest relative predominance in children of Arab/North-African descent, followed by the East/South-East Asian and the South/Central/Latin American, then the African and the Caribbean descent. As a limiting factor to our results, the predominantly broad categorization of “North-American” categories, which includes French-Canadiens, were probably less likely able to accurately define their ethnic background than other ethnic groups of relatively newcomers. From a genetic risk profiling perspective for KD, predetermining ethnic origins with DNA analyses of KD patients may better identify population-based specific target genes of multigeneration descendent population.