Socio-economic deprivation associated with acute rheumatic fever. A hospital-based case-control study in Bangladesh


Dr Mohammad Mostafa Zaman, Department of Epidemiology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 2–3–10 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101 Japan


There are few studies on the relationship between socioeconomic factors and rheumatic fever (KF) in the populations where the burden of both socio-economic deprivation and RF is still very high. The aim of this study is to assess the association between some socio-economic factors and RF by examining data available from a RF hospital in Bangladesh. We have reviewed the medical records of patients presenting with manifestations suggestive of RF during a 1-year period. From the patients who showed group A beta-haemolytic streptococcal upper respiratory infection (ABHS infection), 44 RF cases defined by the Jones criteria and 86 control subjects, who did not satisfy the criteria, were identified for analysis. The median age was 12 years and 60% were female. RF was significantly associated with low income (odds ratio [OR] 2.37; P= 0.04); poor living conditions: substandard (kacha) house (OR 2.93, P= 0.02); and poor nutritional status: low height for age (OR 2.68, P= 0.02). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed an increased OR for kacha house (OR 3.18, P= 0.02) but the same estimate for low height for age (OR 2.68; P= 0.04). Our analysis shows that, among the patients presenting to the RF hospital with proven ABHS infection, acute RF is associated with socio-economic deprivation.