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This James Cook University project is aimed at investigating the significance of minor heart abnormalities in Indigenous Australian children.
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 funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Abstract adapted from James Cook University