The new face of rheumatic heart disease in South West Nigeria
Patience Olayinka Akinwusi,1,2 Johnson Olarewaju Peter,2 Adebayo Tolulope Oyedeji,2 Abiona Oluwadamilola Odeyemi2
1Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, 2Department of Medicine, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria
Purpose: To determine the current prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), clinical features, types of valvular lesions, complications and mortality, at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, South West Nigeria.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective, descriptive study of all the cases of RHD seen in the medical outpatient clinics and wards of LAUTECH for 9 years, from January 2003 to December 2011. Statistical analysis of data obtained was done using SPSS 16.
Results: The total number of attendees of all the medical outpatient clinics during the 9-year period was 67,378, with a subset of 9423 attending the cardiology clinic. There were 11 cases of RHD, which translates to a prevalence of 0.16/1000 and 1.2/1000 for medical outpatient clinics and the cardiology clinic respectively. The mean age of the patients was 25.64 ± 9.65 years, age range 14–40 years and male to female ratio of 1:1.2. The most common valve affected was mitral (90.9%), followed by the aortic (36.4%), and the tricuspid (18.2%). Mitral and aortic lesions coexisted in 18.2% of the patients, and late presentation was common in all RHD cases. Heart failure was the most common complication (90.9%). Other complications were secondary pulmonary hypertension (36.4%), infective endocarditis (27.3%), atrial fibrillation (27.3%), cardioembolic cerebrovascular disease (18.2%), and atrial flutter (9.1%). Mortality was 9.1%, while only one patient (9.1%) had definitive surgery. Financial constraints precluded others from having definitive surgery.
Conclusion: The prevalence of RHD has declined considerably as a result of improvements in the primary health care delivery system, with widespread use of appropriate antibiotic therapy for sore throats resulting in the prevention of rheumatic fever and RHD. However, late presentation is still very common, hence we advocate a more aggressive drive to make the Drakensberg declaration on the control of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease functional in our practice area.
Keywords: rheumatic fever, group A β-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis, valvular lesions, heart failure
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