Kawasaki disease incidence in children and adolescents: An observational study in primary care

Gillian C. Hall*, Louise E. Tulloh, Robert M.R. Tulloh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Kawasaki disease is reported to be increasing in incidence and is the commonest childhood cause of acquired heart disease in the Western world.

AIM: To determine the current UK incidence of Kawasaki disease across childhood and adolescence; and investigate trends over time and season.

DESIGN AND SETTING: An observational, descriptive study in the UK.

METHOD: The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database of primary healthcare records was searched for codes or text indicating Kawasaki disease. Identified records were compared with a study case definition and a date of onset was assigned to cases. The incidence, age/sex distribution, and trend in seasonal and temporal distribution were estimated (2008-2012).

RESULTS: A total of 110 episodes of Kawasaki disease in 109 children were identified from 3.9 million person-years observation. The incidence of Kawasaki disease was 2.8 per 100 000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.3 to 3.4) when aged <20 years; 9.1 (95% CI = 7.3 to 11.2) aged <5 years, and 3.0 per 100 000 (95% CI = 2.0 to 4.3) across the age groups when possible cases were included. More cases were identified in males (55%) with one-fifth of cases diagnosed after 5 years of age. There was no statistically significant trend in incidence over the study years (P = 0.10 adjusted for sex and month), or between seasons (P = 0.65 adjusted for year and sex).

CONCLUSION: Although the incidence of Kawasaki disease remains low and has stabilised in the UK, GPs should recognise that the condition occurs throughout childhood and across the seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e271-e276
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number645
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronary Aneurysm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome
  • Primary Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Sex Distribution
  • United Kingdom
  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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