Health Highlights: June 21, 201106/21/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Hospitalizations Linked to Blood Poisonings Rising: CDC
Hospitalizations for sepsis (blood poisoning) in the United
States more than doubled between 2000 and 2008, a new study
Two-thirds of the cases involved people 65 and older and the
rate of sepsis increased with age. The hospitalization rate for
sepsis among people 85 and older was 30 times higher than for those
younger than 65, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Among the other findings in the report released Tuesday:
- Patients with sepsis spent 75 percent longer in hospital than
- Sepsis patients were more than eight times as likely to die as
- The overall death rate for sepsis patients was 17 percent, but
rose to 20 percent among sepsis patients 65 and over.
Sepsis patients who survive can be left with debilitating
problems such as mental impairment, physical disabilities and organ
damage, the researchers said,
Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Discusses Her Diabetes
Having diabetes doesn't prevent you from doing anything you
want, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Tuesday when
she met with a group of children who have diabetes.
"It's a disease you have to deal with, but you can," she told the 150 children, the Associated Press reported.
Sotomayer, 56, learned she had diabetes when she was seven years
old and coping with it has become second nature. She injects
herself with insulin four to six times a day.
It's no secret that Sotomayor has diabetes, but this is the
first time she's spoken so openly about managing the chronic
AP reported. Her meeting with the children was part of the
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Children's Congress.
Deaths From Cancer, Heart Disease Rising: U.N.
Deaths from noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer
and heart and lung disease are increasing and cause nearly
two-thirds of all deaths in the world, a United Nations report
In 2008, the 36 million deaths from noncommunicable diseases
accounted for 63 percent of the 57 million deaths worldwide. The
U.N. said nearly 80 percent of deaths from noncommunicable diseases
were in the developing world, and 9 million of the worldwide deaths
from noncommunicable diseases involved people younger than 60, the
Associated Press reported.
By 2030, noncommunicable diseases will claim the lives of 52
million people, according to the U.N.
The document said risk factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of
physical activity, tobacco use, obesity and harmful alcohol use are
contributing to the rise in deaths from noncommunicable diseases,
FDA Performs Poorly on Imported Food Recalls: Audit
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration often fails to follow its
own rules in recalling contaminated imported foods, according to
federal government investigators who audited 17 of the recalls.
The cases reviewed by investigators included listeria-infected
frozen mussel meat from New Zealand, salmonella-contaminated
cantaloupes from Honduras, and frozen fish from Korea that
contained botulism-causing bacteria,
The New York Times reported.
In one case, a recall was launched more than three months after
the FDA became aware of a contaminated food product. In another
case, the delay was nearly a month, according to Daniel R.
Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human
In 13 of the 17 audited cases, suppliers failed to give accurate
or complete information to their customers so that the products
could be withdrawn completely,
The Times reported.
An FDA official said the new food safety law gives the agency
more power to control food safety.
Concussion Increases Young Athletes' Risk of Death: Study
Young athletes who suffer a concussion are at increased risk of
death if they begin playing before they're fully recovered and
suffer a head blow, a new study warns.
Researchers analyzed the National Registry of Sudden Death in
Young Athletes in order to assess the risk of death from blunt
trauma among athletes 21 and younger in the United States, the
Associated Press reported.
Between 1980 and 2009, there were 261 trauma injury-related
deaths among young athletes. Most of them (148) involved football
players, including 17 high school players who died of head or neck
injuries a few days to four weeks after they had suffered a
Those 17 deaths are a worrisome number and a key finding that
comes when there is growing awareness about concussions, including
the threat of "second-impact syndrome," study author Dr. Barry
Maron told the
The study was published Monday in the journal
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