[Rheumatic heart disease in schoolchildren in Brazzaville]

Med Trop (Mars). 2008 Dec;68(6):603-5.
[Article in French]


The purpose of this study is to screen for rheumatic heart disease as a basis for treatment of the disease and determination of its prevalence in schoolchildren in Brazzaville, Congo. Surveying was conducted in 4 schools located in suburban districts of Brazzaville from May to June 2005. A cohort of 2250 school children was enrolled by random sampling at 3 levels. Age ranged from 5 to 17 years. The variables recorded were age, sex, socioeconomic status, clinical features, and laboratory findings. Clinical selection was based on cardiac auscultation. Data analysis was performed using the Epi Data 3.1 and Stata 8.2 software packages (differences being considered as significant at p< 0.05). A total of 2232 children underwent testing including 1900 from public schools (boys, 47.5%; girls, 52.5%) and 332 from private schools (boys, 47.3%; girls, 52.7%) (p>0.05). The prevalence of rheumatic heart disease was 3,5 per thousand overall, 3.6 per thousand in children in the low socioeconomic status group, and 3 per thousand in the high socioeconomic status group (p<0.05). The ages of children presenting valvular cardiopathy ranged from 7 and 16-years-old and 75% lived in overcrowded dwellings. One or more previous episodes of strep throat were noted in all cases and had not been treated in 7 out of 8 cases. Valvular disease was significantly correlated with history of strep throat, overcrowded living conditions, and low socioeconomic status (p<0,01). Compliance with prophylactic treatment using benzathyn penicillin was 75% after one month of follow-up and 37.5% after three months.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Congo / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Crowding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Pharyngitis / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / diagnosis
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / epidemiology*
  • Social Class
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology