[Skip to Navigation]
November 1973

Alcoholism: An Important but Unemphasized Factor Predisposing to Infective Endocarditis

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

From the Section of Pathology, National Heart and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(5):689-692. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650110045009

We studied the clinical and anatomic features in 14 habitual alcoholics who had infective endocarditis. Alcoholism is frequently associated with fatal infective endocarditis. When infective endocarditis develops in alcoholics, the causative organism is usually Diplococcus pneumoniae (10 of 14 patients). The endocarditis, however, is usually not the most prominent clinical feature of their illness. Acute pneumonia (11 patients) and acute meningitis (nine patients) overshadows the endocarditis. Often, alcoholism is part of the tetrad of pneumococcal endocarditis, pneumonitis, meningitis, and chronic alcoholism.

Add or change institution