Risk factors for infective endocarditis: Oral hygiene and nondental exposures

B. L. Strom, E. Abrutyn, J. A. Berlin, J. L. Kinman, R. S. Feldman, P. D. Stolley, M. E. Levison, O. M. Korzeniowski, D. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Background - The risks of infective endocarditis (IE) associated with various conditions and procedures are poorly defined. Methods and Results - This was a population-based case-control study conducted in 54 Philadelphia, Pa-area hospitals from 1988 to 1990. Community-acquired IE cases unassociated with intravenous drug use were compared with matched community residents. Subjects were interviewed for risk factors. Diagnoses were confirmed by expert review of medical record abstracts with risk factor data removed. Cases were more likely than controls to suffer from prior severe kidney disease (adjusted OR [95% CI] = 16.9 [1.5 to 193], P = 0.02) and diabetes mellitus (adjusted OR [95% CI] = 2.7 [1.4 to 5.2], P = 0.004). Cases infected with skin flora had received intravenous fluids more often (adjusted OR [95% CI] = 6.7 [1.1 to 41], P = 0.04) and had more often had a previous skin infection (adjusted OR [95% CI] = 3.5 [0.7 to 17], P = 0.11). No association was seen with pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, or genitourinary procedures or with surgery. Edentulous patients had a lower risk of IE from dental flora than patients who had teeth but did not floss. Daily flossing was associated with a borderline decreased IE risk. Conclusions - Within the limits of the available sample size, the data showed that IE patients differ from people without IE with regard to certain important risk factors but not regarding recent procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2842-2848
Number of pages7
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 5 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Endocarditis
  • Heart diseases
  • Infection


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