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TITLE:

PREVALENCE, TREATMENT, AND COMPLICATIONS OF RHEUMATIC FEVER AMONG CHILDREN OF SAUDI ARABIA

AUTHORS:

Ghadi Ibrahim Munshi, Asmaa Ali Alzahrani, Kholood Bader Alotaibi, Ekram Abdulrahman Abukhashaba, Aziza Abdu Alzubaidi, Reham Hamed Alsaidlani

ABSTRACT:

Background: Rheumatic fever (RF) is a significant public health concern around the globe. Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is the cardiac sequelae of untreated group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections. Although incidence rates are decreasing, the disease burden is significant in developing countries. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 723 of studied children in Jeddah, KSA, aiming to assess the prevalence, treatment, and outcomes. Pre-designed questionnaires were filled by parents attending King Abdulaziz Hospital, Jeddah, KSA, and data was entered and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS Inc. Chicago, IL, USA) version 23. Descriptive statistics were performed. Percentages were given for qualitative variables. The determinant factors were determined using the Chi-square test. P-value was considered significant if P < 0.05. Results: The prevalence was found to be 0.7% among studied children. All rheumatic children were males aged 4 – 8 years. Improvement after treatment was reported among all rheumatic subjects and cardiac complications were reported by 60%. Conclusion: We conclude that 0.7% of children were diagnosed with RF, 100% of rheumatic children improved after treatment with a relatively high level of cardiac complications. Further studies and health awareness programs are recommended. Keywords: Rheumatic fever; Streptococcal infections; Saudi Arabia.

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