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Long-term health outcomes in young adults after Kawasaki disease



We compared the long-term health of adults with prior Kawasaki disease (KD) to controls and determined whether outcomes varied by coronary artery (CA) status.


We conducted a prospective cohort study of 258 KD subjects (mean 19 ± 9 years since KD) and 148 age-similar controls who completed extensive health questionnaires. KD subjects were divided into 2 groups, Cohort 1: 109 subjects followed since KD diagnosis at our institution; Cohort 2: 149 KD subjects diagnosed elsewhere.


KD subjects and controls were of similar age at the time of questionnaire completion (p = 0.50). Overall, 128 subjects (including 60 in Cohort 1) reported normal CAs during and after KD. Compared to controls, KD subjects with normal CAs reported several medical conditions with increased prevalence including migraine headaches, shortness of breath, and leg pain with walking, among others. When limited to Cohort 1, KD subjects were significantly more likely to report chest pain (47% vs 16%, p < 0.001) or palpitations (23% vs 10%, p = 0.01) compared to controls. Prevalence of depression was similar (7% vs 5%, p = 0.73).


Despite always having normal CAs in the acute and subacute phases of KD, young adults with a history of KD with normal coronaries were more likely than controls to experience cardiovascular symptoms. These differences could be influenced by anxiety or depression, but report of depression was similar between groups. Whether these health differences reflect a heightened awareness of symptoms among KD subjects, or underlying vascular pathology (i.e. vasospasm, microvascular dysfunction, other) merits further study.

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