How does the prevalence of food poisoning vary by age?

Updated: Jun 19, 2018
  • Author: Roberto M Gamarra, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Morbidity and mortality are higher in elderly individuals. The reasons for this increased susceptibility in elderly populations include age-associated decrease in immunity, decreased production of gastric acid and intestinal motility, malnutrition, lack of exercise, habitation in a nursing home, and excessive use of antibiotics. Elderly persons are more likely to die from infection with C perfringens; E coli O157; and Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus organisms.

The CDC found that 5 bacterial enteric pathogens (Campylobacter, E coli 0157 , Salmonella, Shigella, and Y enterocolitica) caused 291,162 illnesses annually in children younger than 5 years. [14] This resulted in 102,746 doctor visits, 7,830 hospitalizations, and 64 deaths. Rates of illness remain higher in children.


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