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Indian Heart J. 2003 Mar-Apr;55(2):158-60.

Declining prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in rural schoolchildren in India: 2001-2002.

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1
Department of Cardiology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rheumatic heart disease is still a major health problem in developing countries such as India and, for the health planners to allocate funds, the actual prevalence of the disease should be known. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in rural school children in India.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A total of 229,829 children between 6 and 18 years of age were screened as part of a school health program. All children with a valvar heart disease detected by the screening doctor were referred to a tertiary care center for evaluation by a cardiologist. The presence of cardiac lesions was confirmed by color Doppler examination. All children with known congenital heart disease were excluded from this study. A total of 374 children were found to have heart disease. Of these, 157 children were found to have rheumatic heart disease, confirmed by echocardiogram. Thus, the current prevalence of rheumatic heart disease is 0.68 per 1000 children.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the largest school survey conducted to date in India, we report the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease to be 0.68 per 1000 children. Our study suggests that there may have been a dramatic decline in the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in India.

PMID:
12921331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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