Injection Drug Use-Related Infective Endocarditis Affecting More Young, White Patients — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 1, 2016

Injection Drug Use-Related Infective Endocarditis Affecting More Young, White Patients

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Infective endocarditis related to injection drug use is affecting more and more white, young, female adults, according to a study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Using a U.S. inpatient database, researchers identified over 16,000 hospitalizations for infective endocarditis from 2000 to 2013. The proportion related to injection drug use increased from 7–8% to 12% over this period.

Young people (aged 15–34) accounted for an increasing proportion of injection drug use-related infective endocarditis, with a sharp increase from 2008 to 2013 (from 28% to 42%). In addition, whites accounted for just 40% of cases in 2000, increasing to 69% in 2013. Overall, injection drug use-related infective endocarditis was less common among women than men, except among young people, where women accounted for 53% of cases.

The authors say their results "demonstrate that trends in [injection drug use-related infective endocarditis] appear to mirror those of the intertwined prescription opioid, heroin, [hepatitis C], and overdose epidemics throughout the country."

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