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Doctors call for countries to step up the fight against rheumatic heart disease

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3504 (Published 30 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3504
  1. Soumyadeep Bhaumik
  1. 1Kolkata

Greater efforts are needed to prevent rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a meeting at the World Health Assembly was told last week.

Largely eradicated in wealthy countries as a result of effective treatment of its cause, rheumatic fever, RHD remains the commonest acquired heart disease in children in the developing world—“a disease of poverty that kills children, adolescents, and young people in their most productive years,” said K Srinath Reddy, president of the World Heart Federation.

RHD is estimated to cause one death every two minutes, but research interest and funding have diminished since the ending of the Global Programme on rheumatic fever and RHD in 2001. …

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