Glossary

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander: people who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous.

acute rheumatic fever (ARF): an acute, serious disease that affects mainly children and young adults, and can damage the heart valves, the heart muscle and its lining, the joints, and the brain. It is brought on by a reaction to a throat infection by Group A streptococcal bacteria. Now very rare in the non-Indigenous population, it is still at unacceptably high levels among Indigenous Australians living in remote areas. Also referred to as rheumatic fever.

aortic valve: valve between the left ventricle and the aorta in the heart.

bioprosthetic valve: a prosthetic valve made from human or animal donor tissue. Used in patients with rheumatic heart disease who require surgery.

group A streptococcus infection (GAS): is caused by bacteria known as Group A (beta-haemolytic) Streptococcus, GAS is a common infection that can cause sore throats (pharyngitis), scarlet fever or impetigo (skin sores)

health hardware: the physical equipment necessary for health, hygienic living within homes or communities.  The term has been used to describe safe electrical systems, toilets, showers, taps, kitchen cupboards and benches, stoves, ovens and fridges collectively.

mechanical valve: a long-lasting valve made of durable materials. Used in patients with rheumatic heart disease who require surgery.

mitral valve: valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle in the heart

Indigenous: used interchangeably with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in this report.

Non-Indigenous Australians: includes people who did not identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, and people for whom information on their Indigenous status was not available. Compare with non-Indigenous.

pulmonary valve: valve between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery in the heart.

region of management: the regional health boundaries are defined by each jurisdiction. For some jurisdictions, the regions align with other standard geographic classifications such as remoteness categories but for other jurisdictions the regions are state-specific areas.

rheumatic heart disease (RHD): an acquired chronic disease referring to damaged heart valves caused by earlier episode(s) of acute rheumatic fever.

tricuspid valve: valve between the right atrium and the right ventricle in the heart.

valvotomy: an operation that opens up a stenosed (unnaturally narrow) heart valve and allows it to function properly. Used in patients with rheumatic heart disease who require surgery.

valve replacement: replacement of one or more of the heart valves with either an artificial valve or a bioprosthesis. Used in patients with rheumatic heart disease who require surgery. See also bioprosthetic valve.

Abbreviations & symbols

ABS     Australian Bureau of Statistics

AIHW  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

ARF     acute rheumatic fever

BPG     Benzathine penicillin G

GAS     Group A streptococcal infection

NT       Northern Territory

Qld      Queensland

RHD    rheumatic heart disease

SA        South Australia

WA      Western Australia

WHO   World Health Organization

Symbols

—        nil or rounded to zero

. .         not applicable

n.p.      not publishable because of small numbers, confidentiality or other concerns      about the quality of the data