Clinical Outcomes in 3343 Children and Adults with Rheumatic Heart Disease from 14 Low-and Middle-Income Countries: Two-Year Follow-Up of the Global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY Study)

Liesl Zühlke, Ganesan Karthikeyan, Mark E. Engel, Sumathy Rangarajan, Pam Mackie, Blanche Cupido-Katya Mauff, Shofiqul Islam, Rezeen Daniels, Veronica Francis, Stephen Ogendo, Bernard Gitura, Charles Mondo, Emmy Okello, Peter Lwabi, Mohammed M. Al-Kebsi, Christopher Hugo-Hamman, Sahar S. Sheta, Abraham Haileamlak, Wandimu Daniel, Dejuma Yadeta GoshuSenbeta G. Abdissa, Araya G. Desta, Bekele A. Shasho, Dufera M. Begna, Ahmed Elsayed, Ahmed S. Ibrahim, John Musuku, Fidelia Bode-Thomas, Christopher C. Yilgwan, Ganiyu A. Amusa, Olukemi Ige, Basil Okeahialam, Christopher Sutton, Rajeev Misra, Azza Abul Fadl, Neil Kennedy, Albertino Damasceno, Mahmoud U. Sani, Okechukwu S. Ogah, Taiwo Olunugahuda H.M. Elhassan, Ana Olga Mocumbi, Abiodun M. Adeoye, Phindile Mntla, Dike Ojji, Joseph Mucumbitsi, Koon Teo, Salim Yusuf, Bongani M. Mayosi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There are few contemporary data on the mortality and morbidity associated with rheumatic heart disease or information on their predictors. We report the 2-year follow-up of individuals with rheumatic heart disease from 14 low-and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. Methods: Between January 2010 and November 2012, we enrolled 3343 patients from 25 centers in 14 countries and followed them for 2 years to assess mortality, congestive heart failure, stroke or transient ischemic attack, recurrent acute rheumatic fever, and infective endocarditis. Results: Vital status at 24 months was known for 2960 (88.5%) patients. Two-thirds were female. Although patients were young (median age, 28 years; interquartile range, 18-40), the 2-year case fatality rate was high (500 deaths, 16.9%). Mortality rate was 116.3/1000 patient-years in the first year and 65.4/1000 patient-years in the second year. Median age at death was 28.7 years. Independent predictors of death were severe valve disease (hazard ratio [HR], 2.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.80-3.11), congestive heart failure (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.70-2.72), New York Heart Association functional class III/IV (HR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.32-2.10), atrial fibrillation (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.10-1.78), and older age (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02 per year increase) at enrollment. Postprimary education (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.54-0.85) and female sex (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.52-0.80) were associated with lower risk of death. Two hundred and four (6.9%) patients had new congestive heart failure (incidence, 38.42/1000 patient-years), 46 (1.6%) had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (8.45/1000 patient-years), 19 (0.6%) had recurrent acute rheumatic fever (3.49/1000 patient-years), and 20 (0.7%) had infective endocarditis (3.65/1000 patient-years). Previous stroke and older age were independent predictors of stroke/transient ischemic attack or systemic embolism. Patients from low-and lower-middle-income countries had significantly higher age-and sex-adjusted mortality than patients from upper-middle-income countries. Valve surgery was significantly more common in upper-middle-income than in lower-middle-or low-income countries. Conclusions: Patients with clinical rheumatic heart disease have high mortality and morbidity despite being young; those from low-and lower-middle-income countries had a poorer prognosis associated with advanced disease and low education. Programs focused on early detection and the treatment of clinical rheumatic heart disease are required to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1466
Number of pages11
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing
  • countries
  • heart
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • outcome assessment
  • patient
  • rheumatic heart disease
  • valves


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