International Kawasaki Day 2018

26 January 2018        

Category: BHF Comment

Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in UK children. Research shows UK outcomes remain amongst the poorest in the western world - with about a third of treated children still having heart damage.

a portrait photograph of a young child holding a stylised heart in her hands

This is often due to slow detection rates and delayed treatment. The UK Foundation for Kawasaki Disease is launching a campaign for every doctor and every parent to know the symptoms of this increasingly common disease. Starting today - International Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day - Societi is stepping up efforts to grow awareness and encourage urgent action when treating this serious disease.

Young children most vulnerable

Kawasaki Disease can affect people of any age, but the under 5 age group is most vulnerable. A UK and Ireland study from The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) showed that on average, children waited over seven days for treatment between 2013 and 2015. The study showed a link between later treatment and poorer outcomes, with those children treated at 10 days of illness having a significantly greater risk of serious, lifelong heart damage. Slow treatment and low levels of awareness of Kawasaki Disease is putting hundreds of children's hearts at risk every year.

Spotting signs and early treatment vital

Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said:

“Kawasaki Disease remains the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in the western world. It can leave a legacy of permanent damage, which can be prevented through higher levels of awareness, early diagnosis and timely treatment.

“Low levels of awareness about the disease across the UK mean more and more children each year are affected and have long term heart problems. We know that with increased awareness and early diagnosis, we can reduce the chances of lifelong heart damage in young children. International Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day is incredibly important for heightening awareness about this dangerous condition.”

Find out more about Kawasaki disease