Hospitalizations for heart infection related to drug injection rising across the US

Infective endocarditis is a sometimes lethal infection of the heart valves. People born with abnormal valves or older adults who develop valve issues are at increased risk for infective endocarditis, but it can also be triggered by injection drug use, which can introduce bacteria into the blood stream.

The research team found that injection drug use-related infective endocarditis (IDU-IE) represented around 12 percent of all infective endocarditis hospitalizations in the U.S. in 2013, a significant increase from seven percent in 2000. This represents an estimated growth from 3,578 cases to 8,530.

Young adults (ages 15 to 34) accounted for 28 percent of all IDU-IE cases in 2000. This proportion grew to 42 percent in 2013.

When broken down by race, white individuals represented 40 percent of all IDU-IE hospitalizations in 2000. This grew to 69 percent in 2013. This trend was magnified among white young adults, growing in proportion from 57 percent to

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