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Medical News Today: Sepsis: Western diet may increase severity
Author: by Tim Newman, Medical News Today
Posted: February 14, 2019

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According to a recent study, the so-called Western diet could help explain why sepsis affects some people more severely than others.

Sepsis, although not a household name, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

This life-threatening condition is a complication that arises from an infection.

Sepsis, which people colloquially refer to as blood poisoning, occurs when the body's immune response begins to damage organs and tissues.

Without treatment, blood pressure can become fatally low, which doctors describe as septic shock.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.7 million adults in the U.S. develop sepsis each year, and approximately 270,000 of them die. In fact, 1 in 3 people who die in the hospital has sepsis.

There are still many unanswered questions about sepsis. For instance, experts do not know why sepsis occurs in some people and not others. It is also difficult to predict who will develop the most severe cases.

There is some evidence that sepsis is becoming more common too. This may be partly due to the aging population as people aged 65 years and over are more susceptible to sepsis and more likely to die as a result.

As sepsis can be fatal and is so difficult to predict, there is a push to understand what drives the condition and how to prevent it.