Endocarditis is an inflammation of the lining of the heart valves that is most often caused by infection. Most people who develop this condition already have heart problems and are over 50 years old, but it can occur at any age, including in children. While not very common, this can be a very serious disease. Men are twice as likely to be affected as women.
There are two types of endocarditis: infective and non-infective. With prompt treatment, the majority of people with infective endocarditis will survive. Non-infective endocarditis is more difficult to treat.