“There’s another alarming consequence to America’s heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic: an increase in a serious heart infection called endocarditis, U.S. health officials report.
Young, white injection drug users in rural areas are increasingly being hospitalized with both drug dependence and endocarditis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“Endocarditis, or infection of the valves of the heart, due to needle sharing has been on the rise; and the rise has been directly associated with the increase in opioid use in the United States,” said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He wasn’t involved in the current research, but reviewed the study’s findings.
Bhusri explained that sharing unclean needles can introduce bacteria into the body. Those bacteria, he said, “have an attraction to grow on heart valves and can lead to potentially irreversible and deadly results for the heart.”
Source: MedicalExpress.com – June 8, 2017