True or False: Heart Valve Infections are Rising in the United States
By Adam Pick on April 19, 2013
Earlier today, I was reading the latest online edition of US News and World Report when I came across an interesting fact about infections that can lead to valvular disorders. That said, I thought you might like a daily dose of heart valve trivia.
True or False: There is a steady rise of heart valve infections, also known as endocarditis, in the United States? (Scroll below for the answer.)
According to researchers, life-threatening infections of the heart valve are twice as common in the United States as previously thought and have increased steadily during the past 15 years. If you were unaware, endocarditis can be fatal, result in stroke or heart attack if not treated.
Surprised? So, was I…
Interestingly, the report went on to note that many of the infections were acquired in health care facilities and may have been preventable. I guess this is another good reason to ask your surgeon or clinic coordinator about infection rates before you schedule surgery, right?
In discussing endocarditis, Dr. John Brusch, the co-author of the study, noted that while infections are still relatively uncommon, the current incidence is 2 to 3 times that of tuberculosis or syphilis.
Keep on tickin!