Causes and Risk Factors of Sepsis

Sepsis is a deadly medical condition that results from the body’s response to a certain infection. When fighting an infection, the body usually releases chemicals into the blood. Sepsis develops when these chemicals from the immune system fight infection and cause inflammation in the entire body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [1], there are over 1.5 million Sepsis cases every year. The medical condition causes the death of over 200,000 Americans yearly. The overall severity of the illness is bothersome. Hence, it’s crucial to know the possible causes and risk factors.

People with sepsis develop various kinds of symptoms, including a high heart rate, increased breathing rate, and a fever. Infections liable to cause sepsis include abdominal infection, bloodstream infection, pneumonia, and kidney infection.

Here are some of the significant causes and risk factors of Sepsis:

Aging Population

Sepsis is a condition that is common among elderly ones. Old individuals are prone to sepsis [2] due to the coexisting comorbidities, prolonged hospitalizations, reduced immunity, and the aging factor itself. Generally, aging increases the risk of severe sepsis, septic shock, and a sudden deterioration in sepsis.

Age is a major risk factor for death in individuals with sepsis, but patients respond well to appropriate treatment. Note that sepsis doesn’t only occur in older individuals but other age groups as well. A review shows that adults of the age 65 and older are 13 times [3] more likely to be treated with sepsis than those who are less than 65.

In older individuals, sepsis is 1.96 more likely to lead to rehospitalization than other medical conditions. Apart from sepsis, other medical conditions are associated with aging. Examples include hearing loss, refractive errors, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and obstructive pulmonary disease.