Rheumatic heart disease is inflammation and damage to the heart muscle and heart valves that develop as a result of rheumatic fever. A strep throat infection that is not properly treated can trigger rheumatic fever.
Not all people who have rheumatic fever develop rheumatic heart disease. But any heart damage that occurs is usually permanent.
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Donald R. Mintz MD - Otolaryngology