The future of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia

Graeme P Maguire, Jonathan R Carapetis, Warren F Walsh and Alex D H Brown
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10980
Published online: 6 August 2012

Can we be optimistic?

An 8-year-old Aboriginal girl presents with shortness of breath and severe mitral regurgitation, and requires urgent surgery; a young Torres Strait Islander mother has a disabling stroke related to mitral stenosis; and a middle-aged Aboriginal community leader dies from infective endocarditis associated with a mechanical valve. These are the realities of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia.

  • Graeme P Maguire1
  • Jonathan R Carapetis2
  • Warren F Walsh3
  • Alex D H Brown4,1

  • 1 Baker IDI Central Australia, Alice Springs, NT.
  • 2 Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, WA.
  • 3 Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 South Australian Institute of Health and Medical Research, Adelaide, SA.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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