High prevalence of subclinical rheumatic heart disease in pregnant women in a developing country: an echocardiographic study

Echocardiography. 2011 Nov;28(10):1049-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8175.2011.01520.x. Epub 2011 Oct 4.


Objectives: Pregnant women with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) carry a high risk of morbidity and mortality. In this study the prevalence of subclinical RHD in pregnant women in Keren, Eritrea was assessed using echocardiography.

Methods and results: A prospective cross sectional survey of pregnant women attending a midwife consultation was carried out by two specially trained medical students and an experienced cardiologist. The women were screened by the medical students using echocardiography. All recordings were reviewed and evaluated by the experienced cardiologist before a final diagnosis was given. Eight of the 348 screened women had definite RHD. This corresponds to a prevalence of 2.3%, 95% CI (0.7-3.9).

Conclusion: 2.3% of the pregnant women in Keren were found to have subclinical RHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Eritrea / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult