Because of the unique nature and importance of this report, the Committee urges that members read it in its entirety, and examine the report of the Reye Syndrome Working Group convened by the Centers for Disease Control (National surveillance of Reye syndrome 1981: Update, Reye syndrome and salicylate usage. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Rep 31:53-56, 61-63, 1982).

For some years there has been a suspicion that Reye syndrome is due, at least in part, to one or more drugs administered during an antecedent viral illness, usually influenza or chickenpox. Suspected drugs have included antiemetic and antipyretic preparations. More recently, concern has centered on salicylates.

In November 1980, summaries of epidemiologic studies of Reye syndrome performed for two consecutive years in Ohio and in Michigan were reported (Morbidity Mortality Weekly Rep 29:532, 1980). These studies demonstrated an association of Reye syndrome with the administration of aspirin during the antecedent illness. In December 1980, a full report of a small study of Reye syndrome in Arizona by Starko and colleagues (Pediatrics 66:859, 1980) produced similar results. The membership was made aware of these studies by the Committee on Infectious Diseases and the Committee on Drugs via News & Comment in March 1981.

More recently the Committee has had an opportunity to review full reports of the Ohio and Michigan studies, not yet published. The Committee believes that the results of this review should be brought to the attention of the membership.

Each of these studies, including that from Arizona, was performed using the case-control method.

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