Introduction and objectives: Little is known about the prognosis of infective endocarditis in women. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical characteristics and prognosis of infective endocarditis in women diagnosed with the condition at our center during the last 20 years.
Methods: Comparative analysis of 288 patients diagnosed with infective endocarditis between 1987 and 2006. Of these, 104 (36%) were women.
Results: Mean age was similar in the two sexes, at 50 (18) years for men and 52 (21) years for women, as was the incidence of early and late prosthetic valve endocarditis: the incidence of early prosthetic endocarditis was 42% in men and 49% in women. Infection occurred more frequently in the mitral valve in women (54% vs. 39%) and more frequently in the aortic valve in men (50% vs. 29%; P< .01). The severe complication rate during the active disease phase was similar in the two sexes (76% for women and 73% for men). Fewer women underwent surgery during the active disease phase (44% versus 58%; P< .03), and there was a trend to higher mortality in women (24% versus 20.7%; (24% versus 20.7%; P<.1). The 5-year survival rate was similar in the two sexes, at 85% in men and 83% in women.
Conclusions: The clinical characteristics of infective endocarditis were similar in men and women. However, women underwent surgery less frequently despite a similar rate of severe complications during the active disease phase.