Increased Risk of Tics in Children Infected with Enterovirus: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

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Both tics and enterovirus (EV) infections are common in children. The association between EV infections and tics has been seldom evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of diagnosed tics after EV infections in children.


A nationwide retrospective cohort study was conducted to determine the risk of tics after EV infections by analyzing data from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. Children aged < 18 years with EV infection during 2000 to 2007 were enrolled. For comparison, non-EV–infected children were randomly selected and matched with EV-infected children at a 1:1 ratio according to sex, age, urbanization level, parental occupation, and the year of EV infection. All patients were followed up until the diagnosis of tics, death, loss to follow-up, withdrawal from the insurance system, or December 31, 2008.


A total of 282,321 EV-infected and 282,317 non-EV–infected children were included in this study. The mean age was 2.39 years in both cohorts. The overall incidences of tics were 9.12 and 6.21 per 10,000 person-years in the EV-infected and non-EV–infected cohorts, respectively. Children with EV infection were significantly associated with an increased risk of tics compared with those without EV infection (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.27–1.5). Multivariable analyses showed that boys, children living in urbanized areas, children whose parents had white-collar jobs, and children with allergic rhinitis or bronchial asthma exhibited a significantly increased risk of tics.


This study revealed an increased risk of tics after EV infection in children.

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