What is the mortality and morbidity associated with Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Louis V Kirchhoff, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Approximately 12,000 deaths attributable to Chagas disease occur annually, typically due to chronic heart disease [56, 58, 107, 108] or, less frequently, megadisease or meningoencephalitis. [109] In persons with chronic chagasic heart disease, mortality is primarily due to the rhythm disturbances and congestive heart failure that result from the chronic inflammatory cardiomyopathy driven by the persistent presence of parasites in heart tissue. Embolization of intraventricular clots to the cerebrum and lungs can also contribute to mortality.

Persons with severe megaesophagus who do not receive medical attention can die of malnutrition and/or chronic aspiration pneumonitis. Megacolon (depicted in the image below) can also result in death, usually when volvulus develops and is not resolved surgically.

Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). Megacol Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). Megacolon.

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