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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


ISAACURA, César  and  GRANERO, Ricardo. Mortality trends for acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart disease in Venezuela, 1955-1994. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1998, vol.14, n.1, pp.165-169. ISSN 1678-4464.

This study reports on deaths due to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and chronic rheumatic heart disease (CRHD) in Venezuela from 1955 to 1994. Census publications and other official sources provide the population data. Yearly age- and sex-specific mortality rates per 100,000 inhabitants were calculated and adjusted by the direct method to the WHO's standard population. The RF-adjusted mortality rate (AMR) declined: total from 7.68 to 1.08 (-85.9%); male from 7.53 to 0.84 (-88.8%); and female from 7.83 to 1.33 (-83.0%). In all cases female RF-AMRs were higher than male. There was a reduction of 88.5% in the ratio of RF deaths to cardiovascular deaths (ICD-6 330-334,400-447; ICD-7 330-334,400-447; ICD-8 390-438; ICD-9 390-438). ARF-AMR declined (-93.5%) as did CRHD-AMR (-85.1%). Proportional death by ARF and CRHD in patients 45 years old and younger increased. Venezuela experienced a continuous decline in RF-AMR from 1955 to the 1980s, followed by a period of stabilization lasting until 1994. The reduction could be the consequence of improvement in socioeconomic status and of RF prevention with penicillin, a standard practice in the health care system. The 1980s and 1990s RF-AMR stabilization could be associated with economic setbacks in Venezuela and changes in the agent's virulence patterns.

Keywords : Mortality; Rheumatic Fever; Rheumatic Heart Disease; Epidemiology.

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