Myocarditis on the rise globally, Mayo Clinic-led study shows

Myocarditis, an assortment of heart disorders often caused by infection and inflammation, is on the rise around the world, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers led by Leslie Cooper Jr., MD, chair of the cardiovascular department at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville Fla., assessed myocarditis' global state.

The researchers found that the rate of myocarditis and associated death is much higher in men than in women. Also, early diagnosis is essential to prevent long-term heart damage from myocarditis. The most common cause of myocarditis is an infection. Other causes include autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins and adverse reactions to medications, notes Dr. Cooper.

Around 60 percent to 70 percent of those with acute cardiomyopathy from myocarditis get better. However, about 10 percent to 15 percent develop irreversible chronic disease due to scars in the heart created by the infection.

"We are on a quest for advances in treating this disorder," said Dr. Cooper. "We are on the cusp of trying more tailored treatment, and it can't come soon enough."

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