Endocarditis

Outcomes improve when you participate in your own care.

JoAnne M. Foody, 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

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Study finds that women who exercise moderately—not strenuously—a few times a week have lower risk for heart attack and stroke.

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Study follows sauna bathers for over two decades and finds lower rates of sudden cardiac death among most frequent users.

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Researchers explore the uptake of a preventive heart disease medicine.

Running for Health? Moderation is Key

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You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap full benefits, according to a new study.

Study Questions Strict Sodium Guidelines for Older Adults

Jan 28, 2015

Reducing sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg a day may be excessive for older adults.

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A thorough review of studies highlights the negative impact of air pollution on heart health.

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A large Japanese study finds no association between once-daily, low-dose aspirin and risk for heart attack, stroke or death in older adults.

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No single big-name diet is superior when it comes to long-term weight loss, finds study.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Overlooked in Heart Patients

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Secondhand smoke worsens outcomes for patients living with heart disease, but is often overlooked.

Lupus Linked to Congenital Heart Defects

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Study finds that women with lupus are almost 3 times more likely to have a child with a congenital heart defect.

Study Reveals Paradox of Cigarette Sales in Pharmacies

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Patients at risk of smoking-related diseases often purchase cigarettes at the same pharmacy used to fill prescription medications.

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Gradual vs. rapid weight loss has little impact on long-term weight control.

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Childhood Risk Factors Have Lifelong Impact on Heart Health

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Weight and blood pressure during childhood have a long-lasting impact on heart function later in life.

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More than half of American adults have abdominal obesity, according to national trends from the last decade.

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Improving heart health just got a little bit simpler, thanks to the ABC’s of heart disease prevention.

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