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THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 (Healthday News) -- In a finding that suggests overweight people should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, a new report released Thursday shows the risk of death from coronavirus infection is about 10 times higher in countries where most of the population is overweight.

The World Obesity Federation report found that 88 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 in t...

Heart attack patients are less likely to die on the spot if they have been physically active, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 28,000 people in Europe who suffered a heart attack in order to see how active or more 'couch potato' lifestyles affected their risk of death.

They found that about 18% of patients died within 28 days of their heart attack. ...

Owning a handgun increases a person's risk of firearm-related suicide more than owning a shotgun, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed surviving loved ones of 121 gun owners who had died by suicide, including 93 who died by a firearm and 28 by other means.

The survey respondents were asked about the types and numbers of firearms the person who died had owned.

According to t...

A lack of ICU beds and other resources was linked to a higher rate of deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the early stages of the pandemic in the United States, researchers say.

The investigators analyzed data collected from more than 4,400 hospitals nationwide from March 1 to July 26, 2020, and found that fewer resources per COVID-19 patient -- including intensive care unit (I...

Nearly half -- 43% -- of all fatal car crashes involving teens and their passengers are the result of speeding, a new automobile safety report reveals.

The finding stems from an in-depth analysis of all fatal motor vehicle accidents across the United States between 2015 and 2019. During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in crashes involving speeding.

And ...

Heart transplants may be particularly risky for young Black Americans, with new research suggesting they are twice as likely to die after they receive their new organ.

To reach that conclusion, researchers analyzed the outcomes of nearly 23,000 adults, aged 18 to 80, who had a heart transplant in the United States between 2005 and 2017.

Compared to other heart transplant recipi...

Thirty-five detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities have died since April 2018, often because of preventable causes, such as COVID-19, flu and suicide, according to a new study.

One of them was a Mexican citizen who had first entered the United States two decades ago. He died after a month in custody.

Medical records indicated the 54-year-old man appea...

Going into cardiac arrest at night can be particularly deadly, and now new research suggests that it might strike women more than men.

Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to stop beating. The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is only 10%, the researchers said.

"Dying suddenly during nighttime hours is a perplexing and devastat...

Your cancer has gone into remission, so you breathe a sigh of relief as you try to navigate the coronavirus pandemic safely.

Not so fast, says new research that finds even cancer patients in remission still have a high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.

Previous studies have shown that cancer patients who have active disease or are hospitalized are at increased risk of ...

Deaths from overdoses of methamphetamine are rising across the United States, especially among Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, a new study warns.

"While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam -- particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number...

When intensive care units are swamped with COVID-19 patients, death rates may climb, a new study finds.

Looking at data from 88 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, researchers found a pattern: COVID-19 patients were nearly twice as likely to die during periods when ICUs were dealing with a surge of patients with the illness.

The results, experts said, do not necessar...

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly shortened life expectancy in the United States, especially among Black people and Hispanics, a new study says.

With more than 336,000 COVID-19 deaths nationwide last year, researchers decided to examine the pandemic's impact on life expectancy.

The projection: Due to pandemic deaths, life expectancy at birth for Americans will shrink by 1.13 years...

Smokers who swap some traditional cigarettes for the electronic kind may not be doing anything to protect their arteries, a new study hints.

People who smoke sometimes use "e-cigarettes" in a bid to get a nicotine fix without inhaling tobacco. But little is known about the effects of e-cigarettes on the risk of heart disease -- the top killer of smokers.

That's because heart disease...

Despite training that teaches police officers to use neck restraints, there is no medical justification for the tactic, three neurologists write in JAMA Neurology.

The killing of George Floyd, who died in May 2020 after an arresting police officer pressed a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes, helped spark a nationwide conversation about racial injustice.

While Fl...

"Flattening the curve" could be key to reducing deaths among people hospitalized with COVID-19, a new study of U.S. hospitals suggests.

Researchers found that COVID-19 patients' survival odds depended not only on their age and overall health. It also depended on the hospital and the surrounding community.

At hospitals in counties where the infection was spreading quickly, death rate...


Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, life expectancy in the United States rose in 2019 for the second year in a row, according to two new federal government reports.

But don't expect that good news to be repeated in 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 and other ills are projected to boost the death rate by 15% to exceed 3 million deaths for the first time in U.S. history, according to t...

Being discharged from the hospital following a serious bout of COVID-19 is far from a clean bill of health, new research warns, and the risk of rehospitalization or death peaks early.

In the study, more than one-quarter of such patients ended up back in the hospital or died in the weeks after discharge. The researchers tracked almost 2,200 U.S. veterans discharged at 132 VA hospitals thi...

COVID-19 is far more harmful and deadly than the seasonal flu, new studies confirm.

Researchers analyzed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data on more than 3,600 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Feb. 1 and June 17 of this year, and more than 12,600 hospitalized with the flu between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2019. The average age of patients in both groups was 69.

The d...

Firearm injury is a major health crisis in the United States and new research sheds more light on how many of those who are injured survive and the circumstances of their shootings.

For the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University analyzed nationwide data from death certificates and emergency room visits.

Between 2009 and 2017, the United States...

Sudden, epilepsy-related death is more common than thought in infants and children, a new study suggests.

It also found that Black and multiracial youngsters are at higher risk for what's known as sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

It occurs in otherwise healthy people with epilepsy, most often when they're asleep or resting.

Researchers analyzed data on 1,769 infant...

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday that the coming winter months might be the darkest period yet in the coronavirus pandemic.

"I actually believe they're going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told the Chamber of Commerce Foundation on Wednesday morning, adding that ...

Cancer survivors have higher odds of dying from seasonal flu, suggesting they may also be at increased risk from COVID-19 and may need to be among the first in line for vaccination against both diseases.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed medical data from more than 630,000 people in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 2014, including more than 10...

The United States crossed a grim threshold on Wednesday: More than 250,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19.

With coronavirus cases on the rise in all but one state, that number is only going up.

Without a national plan of attack, mayors, school board and governors have been issuing new social distancing restrictions and mask mandates as they try to slow the relentless spread o...

American women are far more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women in other wealthy countries -- and a national shortage of maternity care providers bodes ill for the future.

Those are some of the findings from a new report on maternal mortality by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which compared the United States with 10 other high-income nations.

It found what the r...

The loss of a sibling is all too common among young women in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new study.

The researchers found that roughly one-third of young women in those countries have experienced the death of a brother or sister by age 25. In several African nations, the rate is as high as 50%.

"There's extensive social science research on family dynamics and ch...

The loss of a sibling is all too common among young women in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new study.

The researchers found that roughly one-third of young women in those countries have experienced the death of a brother or sister by age 25. In several African nations, the rate is as high as 50%.

"There's extensive social science research on family dyn...

COVID-19 patients who have kidney disease or whose kidneys are damaged by the virus have a much higher risk of dying from the illness, a new study suggests.

Researchers who studied 372 patients admitted to four intensive care units (ICUs) in the United Kingdom found that even those who had less severe kidney disease to start, as well as patients whose kidney disease was caused by the...

Medieval plague outbreaks in England picked up frightening speed in the 17th century, Canadian researchers report.

Their analysis of historical documents covering 300 years showed that outbreaks of the plague doubled every 11 days in London during the 1600s, compared to every 43 days in the 14th century.

"It is an astounding difference in how fast plague epidemics grew," sai...

Younger women who suffer a heart attack are more likely than men to die in the decade after surgery, a new study finds.

It included more than 400 women and nearly 1,700 men, average age 45, who had a first heart attack between 2000 and 2016.

During an average follow-up of more than 11 years, there were no statistically significant differences between men and women for deaths...

A pair of new studies assert that the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disaster, causing more deaths than thought and prolonging Americans' suffering more than any other country.

The United States experienced a 20% increase over expected deaths between March and August 2020, with more than 225,500 people needlessly dying, said the lead researcher on the first stud...

While opioids were grabbing the headlines, cocaine overdose deaths in the United States have marched upward, nearly tripling over five years, a new government report shows.

After a period of stability, cocaine-induced deaths rose by about 27% per year, on average, from 2013 through 2018, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"While mu...

Black children are more than twice as likely as white kids to die from surgical complications, and minority children are about half as likely to even have surgery as white children, two new studies show.

In one study, researchers found that of nearly 277,000 children who had inpatient surgery between 2012 and 2017, 10,425 suffered a complication that required follow-up surgery and 209...

In rural America, drinking has become particularly deadly for many, a new government report shows.

Deaths related to alcohol use in those regions rose 43% between 2006 and 2018, health officials reported.

Over that time, the rate of deaths went from 11 per 100,000 people to 15 per 100,000. Also, the rate of deaths among women more than doubled, according to researchers ...

People suffering from a psychiatric disorder could be more than twice as likely to die if they become infected with COVID-19, a new study suggests.

Folks diagnosed with any type of psychiatric problem -- anxiety or depression, dementia, psychosis -- were up to 2.3 times more likely to die in the hospital from COVID-19, researchers found.

"Those who had COVID who had a prior ...

Young women who suffer a particularly deadly condition after a heart attack are 11% more likely to die from it than men, a new study finds.

Not only that, women aged 18 to 55 are less likely to receive the tests and aggressive treatment that men routinely receive, and are more likely to die in the hospital, the researchers added.

"It's very difficult to understand exac...

Folks whose hearts stop due to a severe case of COVID-19 are very unlikely to leave the hospital alive, a new study shows.

Out of 54 patients at a Michigan hospital who suffered cardiac arrest while battling COVID-19, none survived their illness even though 29 were resuscitated by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the researchers reported.

"I don't think we can say cardia...

Gaining weight around your mid-section may be the makings of much more than a wardrobe crisis: It may also signal the start of a serious health crisis.

So warns a team of Canadian and Iranian researchers who conducted an extensive review of 72 studies involving more than 2.5 million patients from all over the globe.

"We found that excess fat in the abdomen -- called central...

Only a tiny fraction of children and young adults who have contracted COVID-19 have died from their infection, a new government report shows.

Just 121 people younger than 21 have died from COVID-19 through the end of July, out of nearly 392,000 confirmed or probable cases, said researchers led by Dr. Danae Bixler from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ...

Failure to "flatten the coronavirus curve" in the United States could lead to even more deaths than previously believed, a new study claims.

The researchers concluded that every six additional intensive care unit (ICU) beds or seven additional non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients leads to one additional COVID-19 death over the following week.

"A spike in hospitalization ...

Even light smokers are much more likely to die of lung disease or lung cancer than nonsmokers, a new study warns.

"Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but it's easy to assume that if you only smoke a little, the risks won't be too high," said study co-leader Pallavi Balte, of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in New York City.

The new study shows how wrong ...

Extreme weather days have been on the rise worldwide since the advent of global warming. But a new U.S. study finds that cold weather is responsible for most temperature-related deaths in Illinois.

Researchers analyzed data on heat- and cold-related injuries that required a hospital visit in the state between 2011 and 2018. They identified around 24,000 cases each related to the cold ...

Even if they appear unresponsive, dying people may still be able to hear.

That's the takeaway from a Canadian analysis of hospice patients in Vancouver.

Researchers compared electroencephalography (EEG) data -- a measure of electrical activity in the brain -- collected when patients were conscious and when they became unresponsive at the end of life. Those patients were comp...

Some of the leading hotspots in the United States are on track to become even more sweltering in the coming decades -- thanks to a combination of greenhouse gas emissions, urban development and population growth.

In a new study, researchers estimate that over the course of this century, the biggest relative increases in extreme heat will hit cities in the Sunbelt -- including Atlanta;...

Taking a daily low-dose aspirin may speed the progression of cancer in the elderly, a new clinical trial shows.

Daily aspirin doubled the risk that a person 70 or older would die from a stage 3 cancer, and increased the death risk associated with stage 4 cancers by nearly a third, according to data from more than 19,000 older people in the United States and Australia.

Older ...

A simple blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to get worse and die, a new study suggests.

"When we first started treating COVID-19 patients, we watched them get better or get worse, but we didn't know why," said researcher Dr. Juan Reyes. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C.

Want to live longer? Take the stairs, stretch or toss a volleyball around, a new study suggests.

Those activities were among several tied to lower rates of early death in an Arizona State University study of nearly 27,000 U.S. adults between 18 and 84 years of age.

Researchers wondered which of the more socially oriented exercises -- such as team sports -- contribute to lon...

From the 1960s to the 2010s, the United States experienced a major reduction in heart disease-related deaths among younger adults -- often called premature cardiac death.

But that decline has slowed significantly since 2010, and the risk of premature cardiovascular death may depend on where you live, according to a study published July 29 in the Journal of the American Heart Associ...

Air pollution caused by forest fires can be deadly for people with kidney failure, a new study suggests.

The tiny particles of air pollutants -- called fine particulate matter -- from wildfires can trigger inflammation in the lungs and further affect the delicate health of people with kidney failure, the researchers said.

Using data from the U.S. Renal Data System (a regis...

Alcohol abuse is associated with an increased the risk of death in people with abnormal heart rhythms, a new study warns.

Researchers reviewed deaths among almost 115,000 patients aged 15-54 hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) between 2010 and 2014.

Nearly 10% of the patients were also diagnosed with alcohol abuse, defined as drinking that causes problems...

The death of a twin, especially earlier in life, leaves the surviving twin at risk for psychiatric problems, a new study finds.

"Losing a co-twin by death may be a particularly devastating life stressor with considerable health implications for surviving twins, yet there have been few studies on this type of bereavement," said lead author Dr. Huan Song. She is a senior researcher at ...