Surge of Heart Infections Tied to U.S. Opioid Epidemic

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, rates of infective endocarditis have doubled. 

The same years that opioid use has increased from 2002-2016, the rates of patients with the infection as well as drug addiction doubled from 8% to 16%.

Dr. Serge Harb of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and his study team have found that intravenous drug use is a particular risk factor for infective endocarditis.

Patients with the diagnosis who had opioid abuse issues were usually young, up to their mid 30’s, low income and have other serious infections as well. 

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