Objective: To determine the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and congenital heart disease (CHD) using clinical and echocardiographic criteria in rural and urban school children in Andhra Pradesh, South India. Materials and methods: A total of 4213 school children between 5 and 16 years of age were screened. 1177 were from rural schools and 3036 from urban schools. Prevalence of RHD and CHD was estimated. Results: Clinically RHD was present in 3 (prevalence 0.7/1000). Using echocardiography RHD was detected in 32 (7.6/1000), 11 (7.3/1000) from rural and 21 (7/1000) from urban schools. (P = 0.000, O.R = 0.093 and C.I. = 0.023-0.317). Total prevalence of RHD is 8.3/1000. Clinically CHD was present in 39 (9.2/1000) children, rural 9 (7.6/1000) and urban 30 (9.9/1000). Using echocardiography CHD was detected in 44 (10.4/1000) children, rural 11 (9.3/1000) and urban 33 (10.8/ 1000). Conclusion: RHD was detected several fold using echocardiographic screening than by clinical examination alone. Longitudinal follow-up of children with echocardiographically diagnosed subclinical RHD is needed.
Key words: Congenital heart disease (CHD), Echocardiography, Rheumatic heart disease (RHD).