Lack of association between mitral valve prolapse and history of rheumatic fever
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
To determine whether rheumatic fever is associated with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) diagnosed by echocardiography, records from 561 subjects participating in a prospective family study were reviewed. The prevalence of a history of rheumatic fever by modified Jones criteria was determined in 92 probands and 112 affected relatives or spouses with M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiographic findings of MVP, accompanied in most instances by classic auscultatory findings, and in 357 family members without MVP. The prevalence of rheumatic fever was 5.4% in both MVP sub-groups and 2.2% in the family members without MVP (p<0.05 vs the combined MVP group). However, people with a history of rheumatic fever were older than the remaining subjects (48 +/- 17 vs 36 +/- 20 years, p<0.01) as expected because of the decline in rheumatic fever in the twentieth century, and subjects with MVP were older than subjects without MVP (39 +/- 16 vs 34 +/- 22 years, p<0.01). Multiple logistic regression showed that after the independent relation of older age with a positive history of rheumatic fever (p<0.01) was taken into account, there was a trend toward a lower likelihood of previous rheumatic fever associated with MVP (odds ration 0.42, p=0.07). These results do not support either a true association or a causal role of rheumatic fever in the pattern of mitral leaflet motion and auscultatory abnormalities in adults, for which the term MVP is generally used.