Factors that may increase the risk of rheumatic fever include:

  • Family history. Some people may carry a gene or genes that make them more likely to develop rheumatic fever.
  • Type of strep bacteria. Certain strains of strep bacteria are more likely to contribute to rheumatic fever than are other strains.
  • Environmental factors. A greater risk of rheumatic fever is associated with overcrowding, poor sanitation and other conditions that may easily result in the rapid transmission or multiple exposures to strep bacteria.
Feb. 18, 2014