Infections lead to more ED visits than heart attacks, heart failure combined

In 2012, 13.5 percent of elderly adults in the U.S. who visited emergency departments did so for infectious diseases, more than for heart attacks and congestive heart failure combined, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that per 100,000 elderly adult ED visits in the U.S., 7,321 of those visits were for issues relating to infectious disease. Of those visits, 57.2 percent resulted in hospitalizations.

"With the rapid growth of the elderly population in the U.S., infectious diseases continue to be an important social problem. Our findings call for strategies to reduce infectious disease-related morbidity and healthcare utilization as a national priority for research, health policy, and community action," Tadahiro Goto, MD, lead author of the paper, said in a statement.


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