STUDY: MANY ICU patients have infections
Just more than half of all patients in intensive care units around the world have infections, and they are more than twice as likely to die in the units as patients who are not infected, a new study has found. The study surveyed the infection status of more than 13,000 patients from 1,200 non-cardiac intensive care units in 75 countries on a single day — May 8, 2007. It found that 51 percent of patients had infections, most commonly of the lung, while 71 percent were being treated with antimicrobial agents. One-fourth of those with infections died, compared with just over one-tenth of infection-free patients. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Good heart health leads to higher IQ
Exercise provides a terrific brain boost, as a number of studies have shown. But cardiovascular fitness may trump strength training, according to new research. The study found that having better cardiovascular health as a teenager was linked to not only higher scores on intelligence tests, but more education and a higher income years down the road. Researchers from Sweden and the University of Southern California examined data on 1.2 million Swedish men born between 1950 and 1976 who also enlisted for the country's mandatory military service. "The results provide scientific support for educational policies to maintain or increase physical education in school curricula,'' said psychologist Nancy Pedersen of USC, the study's co-author.
Tobacco deaths could go higher
Tobacco use kills at least 5 million people worldwide every year, a figure that could rise if countries don't take stronger measures to combat smoking, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. In a new report on tobacco use and control, the U.N. agency said nearly 95 percent of the global population is unprotected by laws banning smoking. WHO said secondhand smoking kills about 600,000 people every year. But Patrick Basham, director of the Democracy Institute, said measures like increasing taxes on tobacco products and banning advertising don't address the root causes of why people smoke. Smoking levels naturally drop off — as they have in the United States and other Western countries — when populations become richer and better-educated, he said.