Environmental Factors and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Fiji

Joelle Dobson, Andrew Steer, Samantha Colquhoun, Joseph Kado

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is an important cause of cardiac morbidity and mortality globally, particularly in the Pacific region. Susceptibility to RHD is thought to be due to genetic factors that are influenced by environmental factors, such as crowding and poverty. However, there are few data relating to these environmental factors in the Pacific region. We conducted a case-control study of 80 cases of RHD with age- and sexmatched controls in Fiji using a questionnaire to investigate associations of RHD with a number of environmental factors. There was a trend toward increased risk of RHD in association with poor-quality housing and lower socioeconomic status, but only one factor, maternal unemployment, reached statistical significance (OR 2.6, 95% confidence interval 1.2-5.8). Regarding crowding, little difference was observed between the two groups. Although our data do not allow firm conclusions, they do suggest that further studies of socioeconomic factors and RHD in the Pacific are warranted. They also suggest that genetic studies would provide an insight into susceptibility to RHD in this population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)332-336
    Number of pages5
    JournalPediatric Cardiology
    Volume33
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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