Entries in Mortality (5)


Red Meat Tied to Increased Mortality Risk

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Eating a single serving of red meat per day may raise the risk of early death, a new study found.

The study, which followed more than 120,000 American men and women, linked daily consumption of unprocessed red meat with a 13-percent increase in mortality risk.

A daily serving of processed meat carried an even bigger risk. Eating one hot dog or two strips of bacon per day was associated with a 20-percent increased risk of death, according to the study.

"It's not really surprising because red meat consumption has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer," said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. "What is surprising is the magnitude of risk associated with very moderate red meat consumption."

Nearly three-quarters of the study participants reported eating one or more daily servings of red meat.

"Habitual, daily consumption of these products is actually very common, both in our study and in the general population," said Hu.

People who ate red meat regularly tended to have other bad health habits, like smoking, drinking alcohol and being physically inactive, according to the study. They also tended to eat fewer fruits and vegetables, which are linked to decreased mortality. But even when Hu and colleagues controlled for those risk factors, the red meat-mortality link stood.

"I think the public health message is pretty straightforward," said Hu. "We should switch from a red meat-based diet to a plant-based diet with healthier protein choices."

The study could not conclude that red meat consumption caused the increased risk of death, but rather that there was an association between the two. But red meat contains compounds known to boost the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, such as saturated fat, sodium nitrites and other "chemicals produced during processing and cooking," Hu said.

Swapping red meat for healthy protein sources, such as poultry, fish, legumes and whole grains was linked to a decrease in mortality risk, ranging from 7 percent for fish to 19 percent for nuts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flu Can Be Fatal In Children With MRSA

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A nationwide study finds that children hospitalized with the flu are more likely to die if they are also infected with MRSA, mehicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, The New York Times reports.

The study used data from the most severe cases of the flu in the U.S. during the 2001-2010 H1N1 outbreak of children who had to be hospitalized in intensive care.

Researchers found that being a female, having pre-existing neurological conditions, or being immune-compromised increased the risk of death. This is in addition to flu infections of the brain or heart and co-infection with MRSA as predictors of death.

However in the healthy children, only MRSA infection was a predictor of mortality, and this relative risk of death was eight times as high as that of the uninfected

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months old.

The study brings attention to the fact that even previously healthy children are at risk of death after contracting the flu or flu-related complications. Pregnant women, children younger than two years old, and those over fifty years old are at especially high risk.

The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Men More Susceptible than Women to Cancer and Its Effects

Pixland/Thinkstock(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Cancer seems to discriminate when it comes to favoring one gender over another, according to the findings of a new study.

In a retrospective evaluation of cancer patients over a 30-year period, scientists at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland found that more men than women are sickened by cancer and that men are at greater risk of contracting the disease.  Futhermore, they found that the mortality rate for cancer is higher for men while their five-year survival rate is lower than women.

For their study, researchers looked at three dozen different blood diseases and tumors that strike both sexes.  In particular, they found that one-and-a-half to two times as many men die from leukemia and cancers of the colon and rectum, pancreas, and liver than women, while lung cancer was responsible for two-and-a-half times more deaths.

Overall, men have a 50-50 shot of developing cancer over their lifetimes, while a woman's chance is just one-in-three.

The scientists remain puzzled as to why the mortality rate for men is higher, although they believe certain factors come into play such as hormones, health care, stress, and exposure to harmful chemicals.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


High-Volume Hospitals Provide Better Care, But at a Greater Cost

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The most common reason for hospitalization in the Medicare program is congestive heart failure, according to

By reviewing the records of over one million patients at over 4,000 hospitals in the U.S., authors of a study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that Medicare patients with congestive heart failure in high-volume hospitals had lower death rates. But their cost of care was higher than for patients at low-volume hospitals. 

The study, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that understanding which practices employed by high-volume institutions account for such advantages -- like better care and lower mortality rates -- could help to improve quality of care and clinical outcomes for all patients with congestive heart failure.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Higher Body Mass Index Linked to Greater Mortality Risk

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- It may not be true after all that being overweight protects people against certain types of mortality -- other than cancer and cardiovascular disease -- as some recent research has suggested.

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, being overweight or obese is associated with a higher rate of death from all causes.

Researchers, led by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. analyzed data from more than 1.5 million white adults who participated in 19 past studies that evaluated risk for developing cardiovascular disease.  De Gonzalez said she and her team selected only subjects who were healthy non-smokers.

"We conducted the study to try and clarify the relationship between BMI [body mass index] and all-cause mortality, in part to answer two questions: what the optimal BMI range is and the risk associated with being overweight, or having a BMI of 25 to 30," said de Gonzalez. "There's particular uncertainty with regard to this second question."

De Gonzalez and her fellow researchers found that overweight participants had a 13 percent higher mortality risk than people in the lower BMI ranges, contrary to those previous findings.  The beneficial effect of being overweight that other researchers found could also be due to other factors in addition to smoking and poor health, said obesity experts.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio