Prevalence of heart disease in school children in rural Kenya using colour-flow echocardiography

East Afr Med J. 1996 Apr;73(4):215-7.


In a survey using colour-flow echocardiography and a portable generator, of one thousand one hundred fifteen children, three had clinical and echocardiographic evidence of rheumatic heart disease giving a prevalence rate of 27/1000. Sixty nine (6.2%) of the children examined had trivial mitral regurgitation (TMR). Of these, three had associated trivial aortic regurgitation. Isolated trivial aortic regurgitation was not seen. Four children had isolated mild-moderate regurgitation of the pulmonary valve. Congenital heart disease (CHD) was found in two children-one with secundum atrial septal defect and one with a ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis, giving a prevalence of 1.8/1000. One child had a bicuspid aortic valve and two persistent left superior vena cava. It is feasible to carry out an echocardiographic survey using a portable generator in schools where electricity is not available. The prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is higher than previously found in Kenya. The prevalence of TMR is surprisingly high. This was associated with familial clustering reminiscent of RHD. The importance of these findings must await the results of further investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Health*