Viewer Question:My father had rheumatic fever at age 3-4. Could you please tell me the long term effects of this condition on his present health. He is 75 years old now, and it took about 6 months for the condition to be cured when he was a child. Thank you
Doctor's Response:The major long term consequence of rheumatic fever concerns its potential for damage to the valves of the heart, particularly the aortic and mitral valves. Your father's doctor may be able to detect valve abnormalities simply during a physical examination.
Some patients who have had rheumatic fever can have deformity of the joints, most often the small joints of the hands.
Based on your father's current age, it would seem that it would not be likely that rheumatic fever consequences would jeopardize his longevity.
Thank you for your question.
Last Editorial Review: 3/8/2002