Background Rheumatic heart disease disproportionately affects women of reproductive age, as it increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and death during pregnancy and childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, clinical outcomes and adherence to guideline-based therapies are not well characterized for this population. Methods and Results In a retrospective cohort study of the Uganda rheumatic heart disease registry between June 2009 and May 2018, we used multivariable regression and Cox proportional hazards models to compare comorbidities, mortality, anticoagulation use, and treatment cascade metrics among women versus men aged 15 to 44 with clinical rheumatic heart disease. We included 575 women and 252 men with a median age of 27 years. Twenty percent had New York Heart Association Class III-IV heart failure. Among patients who had an indication for anticoagulation, women were less likely than men to receive a prescription of warfarin (66% versus 81%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.14-0.96). Retention in care (defined as a clinic visit within the preceding year) was poor among both sexes in this age group (27% for men, 24% for women), but penicillin adherence rates were high among those retained (89% for men, 92% for women). Mortality was higher in men than women (26% versus 19% over a median follow-up of 2.7 years; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.18-2.33). Conclusions Compared with men, women of reproductive age with rheumatic heart disease in Uganda have lower rates of appropriate anticoagulant prescription but also lower mortality rates. Retention in care is poor among both men and women in this age range, representing a key target for improvement.
View details for DOI 10.1161/JAHA.119.015562
View details for PubMedID 32295465