Health Advice



After Unplanned Hospital Visit, Another Unpleasant Surprise

Scott LaFee on

A Canadian study has found that among older adults, an unexpected hospital admission was associated with an increased risk of death within five years of the visit.

The study looked at data on 922,000 Canadians ages 66 and older between 2007 and 2017. Researchers found that 51% of those who died during the study had experienced an unplanned hospital admission, and of that group, 40% died within five years of the first admission.

In contrast, 13% of study participants who had a planned hospital stay died within five years, and 11% died within five years of an emergency department visit.

For participants who neither were admitted to a hospital nor visited the emergency department, only 3% died during the study.

The most common causes of death were cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Body of Knowledge


The big toe was once used by our tree-climbing ancestors for grasping. It is routinely used now in toe-to-thumb transplants.

Get Me That, Stat!

Every year, an estimated 48 million Americans get a foodborne illness; 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The riskiest to consume: seafood, which is responsible for 19 times as many infections per pound of consumption as dairy, and six times as many as vegetables.

Food tip: A hamburger should be cooked well-done; a steak can be medium. That's because the former is much more susceptible to having pathogens in the middle. Cook foods over 140 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure you're killing harmful bacteria.


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