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Rheumatic Fever Follow-Up Study (RhFFUS)



The Rheumatic Fever Follow-Up Study (RhFFUS) aimed to investigate the significance of minor heart abnormalities in Indigenous Australian children. It followed on from the earlier Getting Every Child's Heart Okay (gECKO) study.

Currently, there is international criteria for the diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), but the significance of minor heart valve abnormalities which do not meet the criteria for RHD was unclear prior to this study.

The study involved assessment of children aged between 8 and 17 years from 32 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. It assessed whether children with minor heart abnormalities develop acute rheumatic fever (ARF) or RHD over a five year period.

The results of this project will assist the development of an improved early screening program for ARF and RHD.

The project was a collaboration between Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Central Australia, James Cook University, the University of Western Australia and Menzies School of Health Research. The project was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Abstract adapted from James Cook University


Associate Professor Graeme Maguire
Executive Director
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Central Australia
Gap Road
PO Box 1294
Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph: (08) 8959 0111
Fax: (08) 8952 1557

Related publications

Rémond M, Atkinson D, White A, Brown A, Carapetis J, Remenyi B, Roberts K, Maguire G (2016)

Are minor echocardiographic changes associated with an increased risk of acute rheumatic fever or progression to rheumatic heart disease?.

International Journal of Cardiology; 198: 117-122

Rémond MG, Wark EK, Maguire GP (2013)

Screening for rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health; 49(7): 526–531

Rémond MG, Atkinson D, White A, Hodder Y, Brown ADH, Carapetis JR, Maguire GP (2012)

Rheumatic Fever Follow-Up Study (RhFFUS) protocol: a cohort study investigating the significance of minor echocardiographic abnormalities in Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander children.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders; 12: 111

Retrieved 27 November 2012 from


Last updated: 20 March 2017
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