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BMC Cardiovasc Disord ; 22(1): 26, 2022 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153508


BACKGROUND: Ethiopia has a high acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) prevalence, and to our knowledge, there are no data on the status of secondary prevention in children with RHD. This study describes the status of secondary RHD prevention. METHODS: A multicenter, prospective study was performed on children aged 5-17 years with RHD in Ethiopia. Good adherence was defined as at least 80% completion of benzathine penicillin (BPG) or oral Amoxicillin within the previous year. The primary outcome measure was adherence to prophylaxis, expressed as a proportion. Socio-demographics, severity of RHD, and ARF recurrence were evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 337 children with a mean age of 12.9 ± 2.6 years were included. The majority (73%) had severe aortic/mitral disease. Participants were on BPG (80%) or Amoxicillin (20%) prophylaxis. Female sex (P = 0.04) use of BPG (0.03) and shorter mean duration of prophylaxis in months (48.5 ± 31.5 vs. 60.7 ± 33, respectively, P < 0.008) predicted good adherence. Running out of medications (35%), interrupted follow-up (27%), and the COVID-19 pandemic (26%) were the most common reasons for missing prophylaxis. Recurrence of ARF was higher in participants on Amoxicillin compared with BPG (40% vs. 16%, P < 0.001) and in those with poor adherence compared with good adherence (36.8% vs. 17.9%, respectively, P = 0.005). Type and duration of prophylaxis (OR 0.5, CI = 0.24, 0.9, P = 0.02; OR = 1.1, CI = 1.1, 1.2, P = 0.04, respectively), and sex (OR = 1.9, CI = 1.1, 3.4, P = 0.03) were independent predictors of poor adherence. CONCLUSION: Poor adherence is prevalent in Ethiopian children living with RHD. Amoxicillin is a suboptimal option for prophylaxis as its use is associated with lower adherence and a higher rate of ARF recurrence.

Amoxicillin/therapeutic use , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Penicillin G Benzathine/therapeutic use , Rheumatic Heart Disease/prevention & control , Secondary Prevention , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Medication Adherence , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , Recurrence , Rheumatic Heart Disease/diagnosis , Rheumatic Heart Disease/epidemiology , Rheumatic Heart Disease/microbiology , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
N Engl J Med ; 386(3): 230-240, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630266


BACKGROUND: Rheumatic heart disease affects more than 40.5 million people worldwide and results in 306,000 deaths annually. Echocardiographic screening detects rheumatic heart disease at an early, latent stage. Whether secondary antibiotic prophylaxis is effective in preventing progression of latent rheumatic heart disease is unknown. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of secondary antibiotic prophylaxis in Ugandan children and adolescents 5 to 17 years of age with latent rheumatic heart disease. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either injections of penicillin G benzathine (also known as benzathine benzylpenicillin) every 4 weeks for 2 years or no prophylaxis. All the participants underwent echocardiography at baseline and at 2 years after randomization. Changes from baseline were adjudicated by a panel whose members were unaware of the trial-group assignments. The primary outcome was echocardiographic progression of latent rheumatic heart disease at 2 years. RESULTS: Among 102,200 children and adolescents who had screening echocardiograms, 3327 were initially assessed as having latent rheumatic heart disease, and 926 of the 3327 subsequently received a definitive diagnosis on the basis of confirmatory echocardiography and were determined to be eligible for the trial. Consent or assent for participation was provided for 916 persons, and all underwent randomization; 818 participants were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis, and 799 (97.7%) completed the trial. A total of 3 participants (0.8%) in the prophylaxis group had echocardiographic progression at 2 years, as compared with 33 (8.2%) in the control group (risk difference, -7.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -10.2 to -4.7; P<0.001). Two participants in the prophylaxis group had serious adverse events that were attributable to receipt of prophylaxis, including one episode of a mild anaphylactic reaction (representing <0.1% of all administered doses of prophylaxis). CONCLUSIONS: Among children and adolescents 5 to 17 years of age with latent rheumatic heart disease, secondary antibiotic prophylaxis reduced the risk of disease progression at 2 years. Further research is needed before the implementation of population-level screening can be recommended. (Funded by the Thrasher Research Fund and others; GOAL number, NCT03346525.).

Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antibiotic Prophylaxis , Penicillin G Benzathine/therapeutic use , Rheumatic Heart Disease/drug therapy , Adolescent , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Progression , Echocardiography , Female , Humans , Injections, Intramuscular , Intention to Treat Analysis , Latent Infection/drug therapy , Male , Mass Screening , Penicillin G Benzathine/administration & dosage , Rheumatic Heart Disease/diagnostic imaging , Uganda