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A 53-year-old member asked:

Is rheumatic heart disease an autoimmune disorder?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Emily Lu
Dr. Emily Luanswered
Family Medicine 7 years experience
Yes: Rheumatic heart disease generally follows untreated strep throat or rheumatic fever (which is also caused by streptococcus) because the body produces antibodies against the streptococcus bacteria that also react with proteins in the heart, causing rheumatic heart disease.
Dr. Vasu Brown
Dr. Vasu Brown commented
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
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Oct 16, 2011
Dr. Jack Mutnick
Allergy and Immunology 17 years experience
Rheumatic disease: In a sense, yes. You get a strep pharyngitis infection that creates millions of antibodies to fight the infection. Some of those antibodies can turn rogue and recognize a component of the heart valves as foreign, leading to an immunologic attack on the heart valves.

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Last updated Dec 28, 2016

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