Rheumatic heart disease study paints a grim picture

Progression from rheumatic fever to heart disease is rapid and common in the Northern Territory, finds a study that suggests delays in starting treatment may be to blame.

The study of around 2000 people diagnosed with rheumatic heart fever (RHD) or acute rheumatic fever (ARF) from 1997 to 2013 found high rates of progression from fever to disease in the Top End.

More than a quarter of ARF patients progressed