Seniors at higher risk of death from H1N1

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Seniors at higher risk of death from H1N1
Seniors at higher risk of death from H1N1

More seniors are likely to die from H1N1 if they contract it than younger people, according to two new reports.

Even though babies and those under 40 are more likely to contract the H1N1 virus, it is those aged 70 and older who are most likely to die if infected, according to research from the Mexican Institute for Social Security. In their study of hospital admissions and swine flu deaths in Mexico, researchers found that 10.3% of elderly patients with swine flu died, compared with 0.9% of younger patients. A larger U.S. study yielded a similar trend: 20% of elderly patients with swine flu died, compared with 11% of younger patients. The studies appear respectively in the Nov. 11 edition of The Lancet and the Nov. 4 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Meanwhile, the CDC on Thursday unveiled a chart estimating the number of swine flu cases, hospitalizations and mortalities in the U.S. broken down by age. The CDC speculates that in the last six months, roughly 2 million seniors contracted the swine flu. About 9,000 of them sought hospital care, and roughly 440 died from the disease.