Infective endocarditis (IE) is a life-threatening disease associated with serious complications. The GBD 2010 (Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors) study IE expert group conducted a systematic review of IE epidemiology literature to inform estimates of the burden on IE in 21 world regions in 1990 and 2010. The disease model of IE for the GBD 2010 study included IE death and 2 sequelae: stroke and valve surgery. Several medical and science databases were searched for IE epidemiology studies in GBD high-, low-, and middle-income regions published between 1980 and 2008. The epidemiologic parameters of interest were IE incidence, proportions of IE patients who developed stroke or underwent valve surgery, and case fatality. Literature searches yielded 1,975 unique papers, of which 115 published in 10 languages were included in the systematic review. Eligible studies were population-based (17%), multicenter hospital-based (11%), and single-center hospital-based studies (71%). Population-based studies were reported from only 6 world regions. Data were missing or sparse in many low- and middle-income regions. The crude incidence of IE ranged between 1.5 and 11.6 cases per 100,000 people and was reported from 10 countries. The overall mean proportion of IE patients that developed stroke was 0.158 ± 0.091, and the mean proportion of patients that underwent valve surgery was 0.324 ± 0.188. The mean case fatality risk was 0.211 ± 0.104. A systematic review for the GBD 2010 study provided IE epidemiology estimates for many world regions, but highlighted the lack of information about IE in low- and middle-income regions. More complete knowledge of the global burden of IE will require improved IE surveillance in all world regions.
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