Rheumatic Heart Disease

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Rheumatic heart disease is caused by damage to the heart valves and heart muscle from the inflammation and scarring caused by rheumatic fever. The World Health Organization states that globally, almost 2% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases are related to rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic fever mostly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15 in developing countries, especially where poverty is widespread. According to the World Heart Federation , the worst affected areas are sub-Saharan Africa, south-central Asia, the Pacific and indigenous populations of Australia and New Zealand. This section outlines more detailed information about rheumatic heart disease, including rheumatic fever. If you are worried that you or a loved one might have rheumatic heart disease, find out which are the most useful and common tests for diagnosing rheumatic heart disease. The best way to deal with rheumatic heart disease is through prevention. Aggressive treatment of throat infections caused by group A streptococcus and of rheumatic fever can help to limit rheumatic heart disease.

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Rheumatic Heart Disease does not always cause symptoms. When it does, symptoms might include: Shortness of breath, even when lying down Excessive fatigue Heart palpitations, causing irregular heart beats or fluttering sensation in the heart Chest pain or a thumping sensation in the chest Fainting Breathlessness on exertion Swollen ank

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According to the World Heart Federation , rheumatic heart disease is the most common acquired heart disease in children in many countries of the world, especially in developing countries. It is caused by damage to the heart valves and heart muscle from the inflammation and scarring caused by rheumatic fever.  Anyone can get rheumatic fever, but it usually occurs in childre

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To diagnose rheumatic heart disease, any of the following tests may be conducted: Medical history: Your doctor will study the medical history of you or your child to look for evidence of past attacks of rheumatic fever or strep infection. Physical exam: A physical exam will be conducted, with particular focus on listening to the heart for abnormal rhythms, murmurs

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The best way to deal with rheumatic heart disease is to prevent it. Aggressive treatment of throat infections caused by group A streptococcus and of rheumatic fever can help to limit rheumatic heart disease. See Prevention for more details. Once you have been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease, it is critically important to have regular monitoring of the condition of your

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As rheumatic heart disease is the most severe complication of rheumatic fever, it is important to try to prevent the initial attack of rheumatic fever. Early treatment of acute throat infections caused by group A streptococcus can stop the development of rheumatic fever. This is achieved by up to 10 days of an oral antibiotic (usually penicillin) or a single intramuscular penic

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