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Clinical spectrum of rheumatic Fever and rheumatic heart disease: a 10 year experience in an urban area of South India.

BACKGROUND: Rheumatic fever (RF) is an important problem concerning developing countries like India. Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is one of the most readily preventable chronic diseases.

AIM: This study was done to find out the clinical profile, risk factors, compliance with treatment and outcome among RF/RHD cases so as to suggest better case management strategies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinical records of 51 RF and 71 RHD cases admitted in tertiary care hospitals in Mangalore between 2001 and 2010 were reviewed retrospectively.

RESULTS: Mean age of RF cases were 17.4 ± 12.1 years and RHD cases were 33.2 ± 18.6 years. More than half of RF and RHD cases were males. Commonest risk factors among RF cases were poor socioeconomic status (60.4%), history of upper respiratory tract infection before disease onset (58.8%) and undernutrition (35.3%). Commonest clinical manifestation among RF cases was fever 39 (76.5%) followed by polyarthritis 34 (66.7%). Commonest valvular lesions among RHD cases was mitral stenosis with mitral regurgitation found in 42.9% cases. Compliance of patients with prophylactic antibiotics was found to be 37 (30.3%). Mortality rate was significantly more among RHD cases (P = 0.0399).

CONCLUSIONS: Improvement of socioeconomic and nutritional factors is an important task required for primary prophylaxis and of compliance for secondary prophylaxis of RF.

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