Aim: To estimate antistreptolysin O (ASO) titers among students in Hodeida, Yemen.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 600 apparently healthy students at secondary school, aged 16-18 years of age. A clustering sample design was used. Six schools, equal for girls and boys, were randomly selected. One hundred students from each school were selected and ASO tested.
Results: ASO titer positivity was 44%.21.5% of males and 22.5% of females were positive, and 28% of males and 28% of females were negative. This proportion is high compared to other studies, which range from 3.7% to 28.8%, 38.6% in schools from Grenada, and 34%in neighboring Saudi Arabia. This is likely to be due to the high prevalence of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (36 per10,000), which is higher in Yemen than in neighboring countries (24 per 10,000).
Conclusion: 44% of Yemeni students aged 16-18 have positive ASO titers, which are high compared to other local and international studies. Doctors, other health providers, and health policy makers need to be aware of this fact.