A recent medical study has revealed that up to 1 in 50 young Pasifika adults residing in South Auckland may be affected by rheumatic heart disease. The research showed that the prevalence of the condition in Counties Manukau is similar to that found in Africa, with the region historically being a national hotspot for rheumatic fever and recording the highest numbers of cases in the country. Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease occur due to recurring, untreated strep throat or Streptococcal pharyngitis and can cause inflammation of the heart, joints, brain, and skin. The study, conducted by staff from the University of Auckland, Middlemore and Starship Hospitals, and South Seas Healthcare, looked at people aged 16 to 40 years enrolled with South Seas Healthcare in Otara over two years. The study found that most rheumatic heart disease cases had moderate or severe disease, highlighting the need for improved healthcare services for socio-economically deprived populations in New Zealand. Prevention measures targeting both young adults and children are necessary to combat the disease, which is estimated to affect over 58 million adults and contribute to over 300,000 deaths annually.