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Use of Aspirin and Reye's Syndrome

Leonard Banco, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(3):240-241. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460030018008.
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Sir.—Reye's syndrome has been linked to antecedent viral illness, especially varicella and influenza. In addition, an association with aspirin use has bee documented. There has been a marked reduction in the incidence of Reye's syndrome over the past three years, and at our institution we have seen no cases during this period compared with an average of 2.5 cases per year previously. Some have postulated tha decreased aspirin use by children is in part responsible for the decline. Many pediatricians now counsel parents never to use aspirin for their children. Others warn against use during an outbreak of chickenpox or influenza. We sought to compare the ownership and use of antipyretic agents in a private practice with that in a hospital-based clinic population.

One hundred patients in a largely white, middle-class private pediatric practice were compared with one hundred patients in a lower-class, pre-dominantly Puerto Rican, English-


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