Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease
Why are ARF and RHD an important priority for NACCHO?
Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) are entirely preventable conditions, and only occur in high income countries when the social and cultural determinants of health are not equitably addressed.
In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be disproportionately affected by Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD). In 2022, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported the number of cases of ARF and RHD increased nationally from 2016 – 2020, with 92% of ARF diagnoses occurring in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and diagnoses of RHD 15 times more likely to occur than for non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the same time period.