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Global sepsis burden is double previous estimates

January / February 2020 | Volume 19, Number 1

Sepsis, a life-threatening organ dysfunction due to infection, occurs in nearly 50 million people each year and causes about 11 million deaths worldwide. The toll is double previous estimates, according to a recent article in The Lancet, based on data from the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study.

Diarrheal disease was the most common underlying cause of sepsis, among all ages, genders and locations. Road traffic injuries and maternal disorders were the most frequent noncommunicable diseases complicated by sepsis. Sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the highest sepsis mortality rate.

Research and policy interventions targeting antimicrobial resistance, a key driver of sepsis, are “imperative,” the authors noted.


World Map of Sepsis Incidence by Location

World map showing sepsis incidence by country. Access source map and data at https://www.fic.nih.gov/News/GlobalHealthMatters/january-february-2020/Pages/global-sepsis-burden.aspx#sepsismapsources. Sources: Figure 3 (map) and Supplementary appendix (data), Global, regional, and national sepsis incidence and mortality, 1990–2017: analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study, The Lancet, January 18-24, 2020


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