Roundup: U.S. Deaths from Alzheimer's Up 55%; Lawn Mower Injuries Send 13 Kids to ER Daily

Deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease surged by 55 percent from 1999 through 2014, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The striking increase is being attributed to a growing aging population, improved diagnosis and an increasing tendency by physicians to list Alzheimer’s as the cause of death, the CDC says. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. It currently affects an estimated 5.5 million adults in the United States and is expected to affect 13.8 million U.S. adults aged 65 years or older by 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

While the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s rose by 55 percent, it is likely the number is even higher because the disease is still under diagnosed. The new CDC report also found that the percentage of Alzheimer’s patients who died in a medical facility declined from 14.7 percent in 1999 to 6.6 percent in 2014, while the percentage who died at home increased from 13.9 percent in 1999 to 24.9 percent in 2014.

The CDC states: “Given the increasing number of Alzheimer’s deaths and persons with Alzheimer’s dying at home, there is a growing number of caregivers who likely can benefit from interventions like education, respite care and home health assistance. Such interventions can lessen the burden of caregiving and can improve the care received by persons with Alzheimer’s.”

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and no long-term treatments proven to reduce symptoms

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Lawn Mower Injuries Send 13 Kids to ER Daily

Lawn mower injuries are sending an average of 13 children to the emergency room every day — that’s about 4,800 kids each year, according to a new study.

Most children were treated and released, but more than 8 percent were serious enough to be admitted to the hospital, says the study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The research was published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

The most common types of lawn mower injuries were cuts (39 percent) and burns (15 percent). The hands or fingers were the most commonly injured parts of the body, followed by the leg, feet and toes.

Children younger than five years were more likely than older children to be injured from hot lawn mower surfaces, from a “back-over” injury, or as a bystander or passenger. Children age 5-17 years were more likely than younger children to be struck or cut by the lawn mower or a projectile.

The good news: there has been a decrease in the number of injuries to children by lawn mowers.

“While we are happy to see that the number of lawn mower-related injuries has declined over the years, it is important for families to realize that these injuries still occur frequently during warm weather months,” Gary Smith, M.D., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a press release. “Improvements in lawn mower design during the last few decades are likely an important contributing factor in the decrease in injuries. We would like to see manufacturers continue to improve design and include additional needed safety features on all mowers.”

Injury prevention experts recommend that children be at least 12 years old to operate a push mower and at least 16 years old before using a ride-on mower. But all children should be supervised by an adult. Moreover, children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers and children younger than 6 years of age should be kept indoors during mowing. Never let children play on or near a lawn mower, even when it is not in use.

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Study: 4% of Americans Have a Food Allergy or Intolerance

A new study finds that 3.6 percent of Americans are dealing with a food allergy or food intolerance.

Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston defined a food allergy and intolerance as having an adverse reaction to a food, including hives, anaphylaxis or shortness of breath. While an allergy is an immune reaction from your body, a food intolerance is when your digestive system is not able to properly process certain substances. An intolerance will produce milder reactions, such as some gastrointestinal discomfort, maybe constipation or diarrhea.

The study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, reviewed health records of 2.7 million people and identified 97,482 with one or more food allergies or food intolerances.

Women and girls were found to be more likely to have an allergy or intolerance — 4.2 percent compared to 2.9 percent among men and boys.

The most common allergens are shellfish, fruits, vegetables, dairy and peanuts, according to the study.

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