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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Rheumatic fever follow-up study (RhFFUS)



The Rheumatic fever follow-up study (RhFFUS) aims to investigate the significance of minor heart abnormalities in Indigenous Australian children, and follows up 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 is unclear.

The study will involve assessment of children aged between 8 and 17 years from 32 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. It will assess 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 is a collaboration between Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute Central Australia, James Cook University, the University of Western Australia and Menzies School of Health Research. The project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Abstract adapted from James Cook University


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

Related publications

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

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


Last updated: 29 September 2015
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