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Kawasaki disease (KD) is supposed to be more common in the Asian race. The incidence in Japan is 10-fold higher than rates reported from western countries. This study sought to evaluate the epidemiologic picture of KD in Beijing and its suburbs.A questionnaire form and diagnostic guidelines for KD were sent to all hospitals with pediatric inpatient beds throughout Beijing and its suburbs. Pediatricians were asked to review the medical records and report all patients with KD diagnosed during the 5-year period from January, 1995, through December, 1999.A total of 710 patients with KD were reported from 37 (95%) of 39 hospitals with pediatric inpatient beds. The incidences of KD for each year of the study were 18.2 (1995), 21.1 (1996), 18.6 (1997), 30.6 (1998) and 27.8 (1999) per 100 000 children <5 years of age. The male:female ratio was 1.7:1. The age at onset ranged from 1 month to 13.4 years (median, 2.3 years), with 85.2% <5 years old. The disease occurred more frequently in spring and summer and less frequently in autumn and early winter. Lymph node enlargement was the least common clinical sign, and its incidence decreased from 1995 to 1999. Cardiac abnormalities were found in 21.5% of patients and were more prevalent in patients diagnosed 10 days or longer after the onset. No patients died in the acute stage.The incidence of KD in Beijing is lower than that reported in Japan, similar to the incidence in the United States and higher than in other western countries. The age and gender distribution and increasing trend in incidence are similar to those in previous reports, but seasonal distribution is unique.