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RHD - not just the poor

17 Jan 2017

Dear Editor

I am writing to comment on the [AMA] Indigenous Health Report Card (Australian Medicine, December 12, 2016). In the President’s Message and elsewhere RHD, and presumably acute rheumatic fever (ARF), is described as “a disease of poverty”.

In 1947, aged 17, I contracted ARF. I recovered and played contact sport for many years after. But recently my cardiologist reported that in a routine ultra-sound examination, there was evidence of valvular damage.

I grew up in a healthy environment and there was no hint of poverty. I report this in case your readers actually believe it only occurs where poverty exists.

Yours sincerely,

Colin M. Orr

Retired Anaesthetist

Published: 17 Jan 2017