Our bodies are very good at fighting infection. The immune system reacts and attacks bacteria and viruses that make us sick. But sometimes the immune reaction is so strong that it damages the body. This is called a septic reaction or sepsis, and the mortality rate associated with it can be high.
In fact, a new study suggests that sepsis is responsible for 20 percent of all deaths worldwide. That’s more deaths than are estimated to be attributable to cancer. At Mayo Clinic, doctors like Kannan Ramar, M.B.B.S., M.D., are trying to change that with a sepsis response team in intensive care units. Their goal: to stop sepsis and save lives.
From a Wall Street Journal online article (01/14/20):
Americans are dying of heart disease and strokes at a rising rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life. An analysis of U.S. mortality statistics by The Wall Street Journal shows the problem is geographically widespread.
Death rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities all across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places.
In the Journal’s analysis, three metro areas east of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains—Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley—recorded some of the biggest increases. Death rates in each rose almost 25%. The three cities boast robust access to exercise and health care. There are bike trails, good heart-disease treatment-and-prevention programs and nearby skiing and hiking.
Among asymptomatic patients with very severe aortic stenosis, the incidence of the composite of operative mortality or death from cardiovascular causes during the follow-up period was significantly lower among those who underwent early aortic-valve replacement surgery than among those who received conservative care.
Fragmented physical activity, but not total daily activity, was significantly associated with death, the researchers found. For each 10% higher degree of activity fragmentation, mortality risk was 49% greater. The duration of physical activity also mattered: Participants who frequently engaged in short bouts of activity of less than five minutes were more likely to die than those whose activity bouts lasted five minutes or longer. These associations held after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and other factors.
Daily physical activity, which benefits health and quality of life, typically decreases in older adults. A new study shows that higher fragmentation of that activity — more transitions from activity to sedentariness — may be a better indicator of risk of death than a person’s overall level of physical activity.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, analyzed data from the NIA-supported Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), looking at a week’s worth of minute-by-minute physical activity for 548 healthy participants age 65 and older (average age, 76).
The rapid aging of the population, together with high rates of obesity and diabetes in all ages, are pushing both the rate and number of deaths from heart failure higher, the study said. Most deaths from heart failure occur in older Americans, but they are rising in adults under 65, too, the study showed.
The findings help explain why a decadeslong decline in the death rate from cardiovascular disease has slowed substantially since 2011 and started rising in middle-aged people, helping drive down U.S. life expectancy.
Deaths from heart failure, one of the nation’s biggest killers, are surging as the population ages and the health of younger generations worsens.
The death rate from the chronic, debilitating condition rose 20.7% between 2011 and 2017 and is likely to keep climbing sharply, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Cardiology.