Cardiovascular outcomes in children with Kawasaki disease: a population-based cohort study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background

    The risk of cardiovascular events after Kawasaki disease (KD) remains uncertain. Our objective was to determine the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality after KD.


    Population-based retrospective cohort study using Ontario health administrative databases (0-18 years; 1995-2018).


    pediatric KD hospitalizations. Each case was matched to 100 non-exposed controls.

    Primary outcome

    major adverse cardiac events (MACE; cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke composite).

    Secondary outcomes

    composite cardiovascular events and mortality. We determined incidence rates and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) using multivariable Cox models.


    Among 4597 KD survivors, 79 (1.7%) experienced MACE, 632 (13.8%) composite cardiovascular events, and 9 (0.2%) died during 11-year median follow-up. The most frequent cardiovascular events among KD survivors were ischemic heart disease (4.6 events/1000 person-years) and arrhythmias (4.5/1000 person-years). KD survivors were at increased risk of MACE between 0-1 and 5-10 years, and composite cardiovascular events at all time periods post-discharge. KD survivors had a lower mortality risk throughout follow-up (aHR 0.36, 95% CI 0.19-0.70).


    KD survivors are at increased risk of post-discharge cardiovascular events but have a lower risk of death, which justifies enhanced cardiovascular disease surveillance in these patients.


    Among 4597 Kawasaki disease (KD) survivors, 79 (1.7%) experienced major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and 632 (13.8%) had composite cardiovascular events during 11-year median follow-up. KD survivors had significantly higher risks of post-discharge MACE and cardiovascular events versus non-exposed children. Only nine KD survivors (0.2%) died during follow-up, and the risk of mortality was significantly lower among KD survivors versus non-exposed children. Childhood KD survivors should receive preventative counseling and cardiovascular surveillance, aiming to mitigate adult cardiovascular disease.

publication date

  • November 15, 2022