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BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in management, infective endocarditis remains associated with high mortality and morbidity. We describe temporal changes in the incidence, microbiology, and outcomes of infective endocarditis and the effect of changes in national antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines on incident infective endocarditis. METHODS: Using a Scotland-wide, individual-level linkage approach, all patients hospitalized with infective endocarditis from 1990 to 2014 were identified and linked to national microbiology, prescribing, and morbidity and mortality datasets. Linked data were used to evaluate trends in the crude and age- and sex-adjusted incidence and outcomes of infective endocarditis hospitalizations. From 2008, microbiology data and associated outcomes adjusted for patient demographics and comorbidity were also analyzed. An interrupted time series analysis was performed to evaluate incidence before and after changes to national antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines. RESULTS: There were 7638 hospitalizations (65±17 years, 51% females) with infective endocarditis. The estimated crude hospitalization rate increased from 5.3/100 000 (95% CI, 4.8-5.9) to 8.6/100 000 (95% CI, 8.1-9.1) between 1990 and 1995 but remained stable thereafter. There was no change in crude incidence following the 2008 change in antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines (relative risk of change 1.06 [95% CI, 0.94-1.20]). The incidence rate in patients >80 years of age doubled from 1990 to 2014 (17.7/100 000 [95% CI, 13.4-23.3] to 37.9/100 000 [95% CI, 31.5-45.5]). The predicted 1-year age- and comorbidity-adjusted case fatality rate for a 65-year-old patient decreased in women (27.3% [95% CI, 24.6-30.2] to 23.7% [95% CI, 21.1-26.6]) and men (30.7% [95% CI, 27.7-33.8] to 26.8% [95% CI, 24.0-29.7]) from 1990 to 2014. Blood culture data were available from 2008 (n=2267/7638, 30%), with positive blood cultures recorded in 42% (950/2267). Staphylococcus (403/950, 42.4%) and streptococcus (337/950, 35.5%) species were most common. Staphylococcus aureus and enterococcus had the highest 1-year mortality (adjusted odds ratio 4.34 [95% CI, 3.12-6.05] and 3.41 [95% CI, 2.04-5.70], respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Despite changes in antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines, the crude incidence of infective endocarditis has remained stable. However, the incidence rate has doubled in the elderly. Positive blood cultures were observed in less than half of patients, with Staphylococcus aureus and enterococcus bacteremia associated with worse outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2067 - 2077


antibiotic, antibiotic prophylaxis, incidence, infective endocarditis, mortality, outcomes, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Comorbidity, Disease Susceptibility, Endocarditis, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Public Health Surveillance, Scotland, Socioeconomic Factors