Endocarditis is a rare condition that can affect both children and adults. Men get it more than women. It usually affects those who have abnormal hearts, but can affect those without such underlying problems.
High Risk Individuals
Those at highest risk include people with the following conditions:
- Congenital heart defects, including abnormal heart valves
- Artificial heart valves or other implanted medical device in the heart such as a pacemaker or wire
- Heart valves damaged by rheumatic fever or calcium deposits that cause valve thickening
- A prior history of endocarditis
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Mitral valve prolapse with insufficiency and/or thickened valve cusps
Other people at high risk:
- Those with a history of intravenous (IV) drug use are also at high risk.
- People in the hospital who are receiving IV medication may also be exposed to infection.