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Rheumatism usually starts in childhood with tonsillitis but not everyone who have suffered from tonsils gets ill with rheumatism. For this are needed further conditions. The disease occurs with the involvement of the large joints of the feet and hands. Body temperature rises. After proper treatment complaints subside. However, after the ninth month at the most to a year valvular disease arises. Therefore, everyone who have suffered from rheumatism in childhood must ensure himself that their hearts are not damages by this disease.

The nature of the damages that occur in valvular disease are as follows. Most commonly the mitral valve is affected, rarely the aortic valve and at least the tricuspid valve. After the illness of rheumatism due to inflammatory processes appear adhesions between the leaflets of the affected valves. This leads to the narrowing of the valve opening through which the blood passes. Due to thickening of the edges with subsequent "wrinkling" of the leaflets and their poor closing the valve begins to pass blood in the opposite direction. This condition is known as insufficiency (failure) of the valve. This reduces the amount of blood that is sent to the muscles and organs of the body. Narrowing of the valves or the return of blood backwards gradually increasing. This burdens the work of the heart and after years leads to heart failure unless appropriate measures are taken.

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