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Nightmare Bacteria: Where You Live Hikes Your Superbug Death Risk

Nightmare Bacteria: Where You Live Hikes Your Superbug Death Risk
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By    |   Friday, 06 April 2018 03:12 PM

U.S. deaths from illnesses linked to antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacterial infections are rising in certain counties of the country that may be regional hotspots of such ailments.

That’s the latest word from researchers who have tracked regional differences in death rates tied to infectious diseases, Axios reports.

The findings, by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, concluded the overall chances of dying from an infectious disease are decreasing in the U.S.

But the researchers also determined people living in certain regions of the country face much greater risks than others because rates vary greatly from county to county.

While the overall death rates have fallen since 1980 for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, deaths from diarrhea-related diseases increased from 2000 to 2014. The researchers said this is largely because of an aging population that is more susceptible to bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.

"We want people at the local level to take this information and use it to make decisions, and not to be fooled by state average numbers," said Charbel el Bcheraoui, assistant professor at the University of Washington.

To reach their conclusions, researchers analyzed death records from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Among the key findings of the study:

Almost 4.1 million deaths from infectious disease recorded in the U.S. between 1980 and 2014.

Overall, the death rate from infectious diseases dropped 18.7 percent over those 34 years.

Diarrhea-related deaths — typically considered a problem for the developing world — increased in more than 99 percent of U.S. counties, with the highest growth in the Rust Belt, Washington, Arizona, California and New Mexico.

Many of those deaths may be related to infection with Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that's a particular threat to elderly people. "It’s an important message for physicians... to consider when they should use antibiotics because there is more and more [antibiotic] resistance from this particular bacteria, "el Bcheraoui said.

Nearly 57 percent of U.S. counties saw a decrease in mortality from lower respiratory tract infections, but about 12 percent saw an increase.

While the death rate from HIV/AIDS dropped in the affluent areas of the U.S., it increased in some of the country's poorest southeastern counties. Stark inequalities were also seen for HIV/AIDS. In 2014, there were 3.51 deaths from the disease per 100,000 men vs. 1.35 for women.

For more info: To check out health data for a particular county, visit the Website.

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U.S. deaths from antibiotic-resistant "Supberbug" bacterial infections are rising in certain counties of the country that may be regional hotspots of such ailments.
nightmare bacteria, superbug, death, risk, state, regional, rate
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2018-12-06
Friday, 06 April 2018 03:12 PM
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