Rheumatic heart disease is inflammation and damage to the heart muscle and heart valves that develops as a result of rheumatic fever. A strep throat infection that is not properly treated can trigger rheumatic fever.
Not all people who have rheumatic fever develop rheumatic heart disease. But any heart damage that occurs is usually permanent.
Last Revised: July 27, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.