Rheumatic Heart Disease: A Growing Concern for Pregnant Women | Wockhardt Hospitals

Rheumatic Heart Disease: A Growing Concern for Pregnant Women

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In overcrowded, poor conditions, rheumatic fever primarily afflicts children & adolescents, posing a significant risk for pregnant women’s perinatal maternal mortality & morbidity.

Cardiovascular diseases are the deadliest group of conditions in the world claiming a maximum number of lives globally every year. Rheumatic heart disease is another condition wherein the heart valves suffer permanent damage due to rheumatic fever. The damage in this condition may start after an untreated or under-treated streptococcal infection like scarlet fever or strep throat. But that’s not the worst part – the condition can begin with something as basic as a sore throat from the Streptococcus pyogenes bacterium. Common in childhood, these infections can transmit easily from person to person as part of upper respiratory tract infections.

Rheumatic fever affects children and adolescents the most in overcrowded places with poor conditions. It is seen as the principal heart disease affecting pregnant women raising the risk of perinatal, maternal mortality, and morbidity.

To learn more about the same, Times Now Digital connected with Dr. Ankur Phatarpekar, Interventional Cardiologist at Wockhardt Hospitals. The expert spoke about RHD and its possible risk factors.

“RHD is a disease that affects the heart, brain, skin, and joints. The antibodies which your immune system produces against GABHS act against these body parts. In the heart, it affects the valves and is a common cause of breathlessness in young people. Overcrowding, poverty, poor access to medical facilities, and poor nutrition contribute to its transmission. Once the valves are affected, it requires a protracted course of antibiotics for a three-week period to prevent the infection and its progression,” he explained.

Dr. Ravi Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist at Wockhardt Hospital, spoke about the condition’s connection with a sore throat.

“Rheumatic heart disease was a very prevalent condition earlier; however, the cases are now dipping in India. It starts with an immune response to the bacteria causing sore throat – streptococcus. Usually, it occurs at a young age and its primary symptom remains recurrent sore throat infections. It can lead to acute rheumatic fever which has a role to play in heart, joints, and brain health. Early recognition can prevent/delay valve deterioration. The role of long-term penicillin prophylaxis is well established and has saved millions of lives worldwide,” Dr. Gupta concluded.

Dr. Ankur Phatarpekar
Interventional Cardiologist
Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central

Dr. Ravi Gupta
Consultant Cardiologist
Wockhardt Hospital

To book an appointment call: +918291101001

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/health/never-overlook-a-sore-throat-study-says-it-could-be-the-first-symptom-of-deadly-heart-disease-article-92517235

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