Rheumatic heart disease in Indigenous young peoples

Rosemary Wyber, Vicki Wade, Anneka Anderson, Yoko Schreiber, Raphael Saginur, Alex Brown, Jonathan Carapetis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Indigenous children and young peoples live with an inequitable burden of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. In this Review, we focus on the epidemiological burden and lived experience of these conditions for Indigenous young peoples in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. We outline the direct and indirect drivers of rheumatic heart disease risk and their mitigation. Specifically, we identify the opportunities and limitations of predominantly biomedical approaches to the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of disease among Indigenous peoples. We explain why these biomedical approaches must be coupled with decolonising approaches to address the underlying cause of disease. Initiatives underway to reduce acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are reviewed to identify how an Indigenous rights-based approach could contribute to elimination of rheumatic heart disease and global disease control goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-446
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet Child and Adolescent Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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