Early detection of clinically silent valvular heart disease and timely implementation of secondary antibiotic prevention may prevent progression of disease.

Rheumatic fever can be oligo- or asymptomatic and can go undetected until complicatons from valvular damage occur. Echocardiography allows the detection of early stages of valvular heart disease secondary to rheumatic fever and facilitates the diagnosis of latent rheumatic heart disease. 

The specific objectives of  our project are (1) to investigate the prevalence of clinically silent and manifest disease in low and middle income countries, and to estimate the incidence of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease as a function of age; (2) to investigate the importance of borderline rheumatic heart disease on longterm clinical outcome, and to identify predictors of disease progression and cardiovascular complications; (3) to determine social and economic barriers for adequate care; and (4) to identify challenges in population-based screening for rheumatic heart disease in endemic regions.