Incidence and characteristics of newly diagnosed rheumatic heart disease in urban African adults

Incidence and characteristics of newly diagnosed rheumatic heart disease in Urban African adults: insights from the Heart of Soweto Study

Little is known on the incidence and clinical characteristics of newly diagnosed rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in adulthood from urban African communities in epidemiologic transition.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital services the 1.1-million-strong black African community in Soweto, South Africa. A prospective, clinical registry captured data from all de novo cases of structural and functional valvular heart disease (VHD) presenting to the Cardiology Unit during 2006/2007. We describe in detail all cases with newly diagnosed RHD.

There were 4005 de novo presentations in 2006/07 and 960 (24%) had a valvular abnormality. Of these, 344 cases (36%) were diagnosed with RHD. Estimated incidence of new cases of RHD for those older than 14 years of age in the region was 23.5 cases/100 000 per annum. [Download PDF]