Objectives Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus are considered vulnerable to infective endocarditis and prophylactic antibiotics are recommended before an invasive dental procedure. However, the evidence is insufficient. This nationwide population-based study evaluated the risk and related factors of infective endocarditis in systemic lupus erythematosus. Methods We identified 12,102 systemic lupus erythematosus patients from the National Health Insurance research-oriented database, and compared the incidence rate of infective endocarditis with that among 48,408 non-systemic lupus erythematosus controls. A Cox multivariable proportional hazards model was employed to evaluate the risk of infective endocarditis in the systemic lupus erythematosus cohort. Results After a mean follow-up of more than six years, the systemic lupus erythematosus cohort had a significantly higher incidence rate of infective endocarditis (42.58 vs 4.32 per 100,000 person-years, incidence rate ratio = 9.86, p < 0.001) than that of the control cohort. By contrast, the older systemic lupus erythematosus cohort had lower risk (adjusted hazard ratio 11.64) than that of the younger-than-60-years systemic lupus erythematosus cohort (adjusted hazard ratio 15.82). Cox multivariate proportional hazards analysis revealed heart disease (hazard ratio = 5.71, p < 0.001), chronic kidney disease (hazard ratio = 2.98, p = 0.034), receiving a dental procedure within 30 days (hazard ratio = 36.80, p < 0.001), and intravenous steroid therapy within 30 days (hazard ratio = 39.59, p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for infective endocarditis in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. Conclusions A higher risk of infective endocarditis was observed in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. Risk factors for infective endocarditis in the systemic lupus erythematosus cohort included heart disease, chronic kidney disease, steroid pulse therapy within 30 days, and a recent invasive dental procedure within 30 days.
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