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Screening University Students for Rheumatic Heart Disease

Introduction: Screening using echocardiography is currently recognized as the state of art tool for early detection of Rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Unfortunately, primary and periodic examination freshman university students, does not include examination of the heart via echocardiography.

Aim: To screen freshman medical students for RHD and other risk factors that can aggravate the progression of the heart disease.

Methods: Freshman (first year) medical students were exposed to full cardiovascular examination. Four hundred students were targeted only 150 completed the exam. All students underwent a full anthropometric assessment for weight, height and Body mass index and screening for high blood pressure. A full cardiac exam was done for 100 students using a portable echocardiography machine.

Results: Overall prevalence of obesity and overweight was 6.7% and 11.3% respectively. Pre-hypertension and hypertension were detected in 10.7% and 8% respectively. By echocardiography exam, mitral valve prolapse was detected in 4 (4%) and RHD in 3 students (3%) which was mostly mitral regurgitation was the main lesion in 100% of the cases. There was a direct positive significant correlation between overweight, obesity and hypertension at P<0.001.

Conclusion: Screening for cardiovascular disease for freshman student is important to reveal hidden cardiovascular disease. Echocardiography is helpful tool in early identification of silent disease.


Azza Mam Abul Fadl and Ahmed Ata Sobeih

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