Myocarditis epidemiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor-In-Chief: Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S., Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2], Maliha Shakil, M.D. [3]


In young adults, up to 20% of all cases of sudden death are due to myocarditis. Myocarditis is slightly more frequent among males than females.[1]

Epidemiology and Demographics


In routine autopsies, 1-9% of all patients had evidence of myocardial inflammation.


In young adults, up to 20% of all cases of sudden death are due to myocarditis.


Myocarditis is slightly more frequent among males than females. This may be due to protection conferred by the ovarian cycle.[1]


No difference in frequency of myocarditis has been observed between various races.

Etiology in Developed Countries

Etiology in Developing Countries

In South America, Chagas' disease (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) is the main cause of myocarditis. Other causes in developing countries include rheumatic fever[6] and HIV infection.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Schwartz J, Sartini D, Huber S (2004). "Myocarditis susceptibility in female mice depends upon ovarian cycle phase at infection". Virology. 330 (1): 16–23. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2004.06.051. PMID 15527830.
  2. Friman G, Wesslén L, Fohlman J, Karjalainen J, Rolf C (1995). "The epidemiology of infectious myocarditis, lymphocytic myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy". Eur Heart J. 16 Suppl O: 36–41. PMID 8682098.
  3. Kindermann I, Kindermann M, Kandolf R, Klingel K, Bültmann B, Müller T; et al. (2008). "Predictors of outcome in patients with suspected myocarditis". Circulation. 118 (6): 639–48. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.769489. PMID 18645053. Unknown parameter | ignored (help)
  4. Kühl U, Pauschinger M, Noutsias M, Seeberg B, Bock T, Lassner D; et al. (2005). "High prevalence of viral genomes and multiple viral infections in the myocardium of adults with "idiopathic" left ventricular dysfunction". Circulation. 111 (7): 887–93. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000155616.07901.35. PMID 15699250. Unknown parameter | ignored (help)
  5. McAlister HF, Klementowicz PT, Andrews C, Fisher JD, Feld M, Furman S (1989). "Lyme carditis: an important cause of reversible heart block". Ann Intern Med. 110 (5): 339–45. PMID 2644885.
  6. Carapetis JR, Steer AC, Mulholland EK, Weber M (2005). "The global burden of group A streptococcal diseases". Lancet Infect Dis. 5 (11): 685–94. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(05)70267-X. PMID 16253886.