Kawasaki disease, also called Kawasaki syndrome, is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the developed world. It usually appears in children under 5 years old. If left untreated, it can result in the formation of a coronary artery aneurysm in up to 25% of cases. With treatment, this complication rate is reduced to about 2%.
Kawasaki disease was first diagnosed in Japan in the 1960s. It can occur in people of any race or ethnic origin, although it is still most common in Japan. It affects mostly children 5 years old and under, although children of any age can get it. Boys are twice as likely to get the disease as girls.
In Canada, about 13 in every 100,000 children under the age of 5 years are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease every year.