Endocarditis

Outcomes improve when you participate in your own care.

Martha Gulati, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Endocarditis

Did you know that the walls of your heart are made up of three layers?  The outer layer is called the epicardium, the middle layer is the myocardium, and the innermost layer is the endocardium.  Inflammation of this innermost layer and of your heart valves is called endocarditis. Endocarditis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria enter your bloodstream from another part of your body and attach to damaged areas in your heart.  Because of this, you are more likely to develop endocarditis if you already have a damaged or artificial heart valve.

Some things that will increase your risk of developing endocarditis include: having had endocarditis in the past, previous surgery on your heart valves, recent dental surgery, or using intravenous drugs. Early symptoms of endocarditis may make you feel tired or feverish like you have the flu. Other symptoms include chills and sweating, feeling short of breath, and having pain in your joints. You may also notice red spots under your skin. It is important to report any symptoms to your doctor, as untreated endocarditis can lead to serious health problems like heart failure or stroke.

Treatment for endocarditis will usually include long-term antibiotic therapy. Use this condition center to learn more about endocarditis. You can keep up with the latest research, find questions to ask your doctor, and get tips to help you feel your best.

Endocarditis News & Events

Heart Disease Burden Has Shifted to Southern U.S. States

May 04, 2016

The highest death rates from heart disease have shifted to the South since the 1970s.

Decline in Dementia Rates Over Past Three Decades

Mar 08, 2016

Study analyzed data on trends in older adults in the Framingham Heart Study.

Texting Programs Improve Medication Adherence in Patients with Chronic Disease

Feb 26, 2016
A recent study suggests that text messaging programs double the odds of medication adherence in adults with chronic disease.

Too Little Exercise Remains a Prime Concern for Americans

Jan 18, 2016
Experts reaffirm that health benefits from exercise far outweigh risks.

Cardiac Rehab is Lifesaving for Heart Patients

Jan 10, 2016

Exercise-based rehab programs reduce risk for heart-related death by 26%.

Heart Disease Remains Top Killer in the United States

Jan 10, 2016

Heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths, highlighting an urgent need for prevention and treatment.

Declines in U.S. Death Rates Have Slowed

Nov 19, 2015
Researchers measure progress on heart disease and other leading causes of death, and identify areas for improvement.

Low-Fat Diets Not the Best Weight Loss Solution

Nov 19, 2015

A review of more than 50 clinical trials comparing low- versus higher-fat diets shows no significant difference in weight loss results.

African-American Veterans Healthier Than White Counterparts

Oct 22, 2015

Analysis of VA data stands in contrast to health disparities in the general U.S. population.

A Healthy Lifestyle in Midlife Makes for Healthier Golden Years

Oct 13, 2015

The benefits of healthy choices carry long into older adulthood.

Music Boosts Heart Health

Oct 13, 2015
Music’s effect on heart activity, blood pressure and breathing bodes well for health.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 05, 2015

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Chicago in April 2016!

Longer, But Not Necessarily Healthier, Lives

Sep 25, 2015
While life expectancy continues to rise, heart disease becomes the leading cause of disability around the world.

Deep Belly Fat Increases Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 18, 2015
Study finds that both volume and type of belly fat have an impact on heart health.

Age and Gender Differences in Heart Disease Mortality Rates

Sep 17, 2015
Despite recent drops in cardiovascular mortality rates, death toll among young adults remains high.

Economic and Social Forces Have Big Impact on Heart Health

Aug 21, 2015
The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement addressing social factors that influence risk for heart disease.

Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease and Stroke

Jul 01, 2015
Moderate chocolate consumption helps, not harms, cardiovascular health.

Action, Not Advice, Helps Smokers Quit

Jun 25, 2015
Creating a quit plan and providing tools for ongoing support is more effective than education alone in helping smokers quit.

Cash Incentives Help Smokers Quit

Jun 03, 2015
Rewards-based programs are much more appealing than deposit-based programs, which require smokers to risk their own money.

Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory and Brain Function

May 26, 2015
A diet rich in olive oil and nuts may improve brain function and reduce risk for dementia.

A National Plan to Get America Moving

May 11, 2015

Proposed changes to our physical and social environments encourage regular physical activity for Americans throughout the course of the day.

Is There an Exercise 'Sweet Spot' for Longer Life?

Apr 23, 2015
Two large-scale studies take a close look at meeting or exceeding current exercise guidelines, but one thing is clear: Any physical activity is far better than none.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Rare for Adults Engaged in Sports

Apr 23, 2015

Study highlights the benefits of exercise and sports in middle-aged adults, as well as CPR training.

Strategies for Combatting Childhood Obesity

Apr 07, 2015
Early lifestyle interventions are urgently needed to stop growing childhood obesity rates.

Children of Smokers Have Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Apr 03, 2015

Quitting is the best approach for the health of the family, but limiting children’s exposure to smoke can help.