Rheumatic fever--exacerbation or decline? Analysis of patients admitted to a medical service within a period of 20 years.

F Morais, G N Silva, R M Santos, J T Sousa, J A Saavedra, J N Da Costa


The authors revised 116 clinical files of patients admitted to a Medicine ward with Rheumatic Fever in the years 1959-63 and 1979-83, in order to detect a possible recrudescence of the disease. The following parameters were analysed: age, sex, length of hospital stay, clinical manifestations, ancillary exams, therapeutics and evolution. It was found an impressive decline in the incidence of the disease (90 cases vs 26) and also a very significant decrease of the period of hospitalization in the recent group of patients (p less than 0.0005); Carditis and relapses of Rheumatic Fever were more frequent in the old group of patients.

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