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 or skin 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.

associated cause(s) of death: A cause(s) listed on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, other than the underlying cause of death. They include the immediate cause, any intervening causes, and conditions that contributed to the death but were not related to the disease or condition causing death.

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 (Strep A) infection: Caused by bacteria known as Group A (beta-haemolytic) Streptococcus, a common infection that can cause sore throats (pharyngitis), scarlet fever or impetigo (skin sores).

health hardware: The physical equipment necessary for healthy, 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 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.

underlying cause of death: The disease or injury that initiated the train of events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury.

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.