Health Issues Particularly Relevant to Children of Chinese Origin
Chinese children look different from other ethnic children; their medical and health problems are often different too.1 Some of these problems are highlighted in a series of articles in the current issue of the Journal, they are particularly relevant or unique to children of Chinese origin. Using chopsticks in eating is a classical example illustrating a unique cultural difference with the Western world. Li-Tsang and her colleagues2 reported a nice study validating the chopstick-manipulation test for screening Chinese children with fine motor dysfunction. Apparently this is a useful test that would have little application in the Western culture. The short case report by Yip and Chan3 is not only unusual for being a case occurring in a boy, it also serves as a reminder for the readers that systemic lupus erythromatosis is more prevalent in children of Chinese decent.1,4
Mak and colleagues5 documented that thyroid dysfunction is common in Chinese children with Down syndrome, a finding similar to the West as reported in the English literature.6 Many adverse effects on health by indirect cigarette smoke7 have been reported in the English literature, Tang8 was probably among the first to document this in the Chinese children. Spontaneous pneumothorax in children is uncommon,9 except in cystic fibrosis, which is rare in Chinese. A nation-wide survey over a 10-year period in U.S.A. identified only 64 per 1,000,000 children under 18.10 It is intriguing to note that Hui and colleagues were able to collect 63 such child-cases11 between 10 and 18 years old in only one single community hospital. Whether such condition is more prevalent in Chinese deserves careful scrutiny and search for an explanation. Other papers in this issue are all work of significant local interests.
We welcome scientific and clinical contributions on any child health related topics to our journal. We are keen to receive original work that would highlight certain genetic or cultural characteristics in Chinese children. After all, our journal considers publishing scientific and clinical papers on health issues particularly relevant to children of Chinese original one of our important mission.
1. Yeung CY. Health problems in Chinese children are different. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2003;8:70-86.
2. Li-Tsang CWP, Lee HCY, Hung LK. Validation of a Chopsticks Manipulation Test for Screening Chinese Children with Fine Motor Dysfunction. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2006;11:103-9.
3. Yip YF, Chan WKY. Acute Respiratory Failure in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2006;11:147-52.
4. Houghton KM, Page J, Cabral DA, Petty RE, Tucker LB. Systemic lupus erythematosus in the pediatric North American Native population of British Columbia. J Rheumatol 2006;33:161-3.
5. Mak PPY, Bu WM, Yu CM, et al. Thyroid Dysfunction in Chinese Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2006;11:110-7.
6. Pueschel SM, Pezzullo JC. Thyroid dysfunction in Down syndrome. Am J Dis Child 1985;139:636-9.
7. Rushton L. Health impact of environmental tobacco smoke in the home. Rev Environ Health 2004;19:291-309.
8. Tang ML. Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Child Development: A Case-control Study on Hong Kong Chinese Toddlers. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2006;11:118-27.
9. Shaw KS, Prasil P, Nguyen LT, Laberge JM. Pediatric spontaneous pneumothorax. Semin Pediatr Surg 2003;12:55-61.
10. Flume PA, Strange C, Ye X, Ebeling M, Hulsey T, Clark LL. Pneumothorax in cystic fibrosis. Chest 2005;128:720-8.
11. Hui YW, Chan KW, Chung CK, et al. Adolescent Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax: A Hospital's Experience. HK J Paediatr (new series) 2006;11:128-32.