Rheumatic Heart Disease – Systematic Review of Clinical Data and Assessment of Preventative Measures for a Global Solution
Joeseph Helbling , PA-S, Anthony Gunawan, PA-S, William D Urban, DVM

A renewed sense of urgency in addressing the global impact of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is evidenced by the recent adoption of a global resolution by the World Health Organization on Rheumatic Fever and RHD on May 25, 2018. This marks the first time Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and RHD have been recognized on a world-wide stage as a global health priority. The World Heart Federation, is promoting a goal of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from Rheumatic Fever and RHD among individuals aged less than 25 years by 2025. Despite the relative rarity and declining mortality of RHD in high income countries due to adequate access to antibiotics, the disease continues to devastate impoverished countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Oceania. Rheumatic Heart Disease truly exemplifies rising health inequality in the world today. Therefore, the goal is to provide a systematic review of comprehensive clinical information on the progression of Group A Streptococcus infection to RHD for practicing providers including their epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. An assessment of strategies for a global solution centered on concepts of disease prevention, cost-effective practice, and expansion of resources to those without access will also be of focus.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v7n2a1