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Rheumatic heart disease is inflammation and damage to the heart muscle and heart valves that develop 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: August 2, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
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