Health Highlights: Nov. 4, 2009

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Hospital Deaths Cost $20 Billion in 2007: Report

Hospitalized patients accounted for one of every three deaths in the United States in 2007, and the cost of their hospital stays was about $20 billion, according to a federal government study released Wednesday.

The average cost of hospital stays for patients who died was $26,035, compared with $9,447 for patients who lived. The average hospital stay was 8.8 days for patients who died and 4.5 days for those who lived, said the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • U.S. Hospital Deaths Cost $20 Billion in 2007: Report
    • Recalled Dietary Supplements May Contain Steroids
    • BPA in Canned Foods Cause For Concern, Group Says
    • Breast Cancer May Change When It Spreads: Study
    • Tests Can Detect Early Dementia: Study
    • Cereal's 'Immunity' Claim Outrages Experts

Among the other findings from the analysis of 765,651 hospital patient deaths in 2007:

Medicare patients accounted for 67 percent of in-hospital deaths and $12 billion in hospital costs; privately insured patients, 20 percent and $4 billion; Medicaid patients, 2 percent and $2.4 billion; and uninsured patients, 3 percent and $630 million.

The average cost for each Medicaid patient who died was $38,939 -- about $15,000 more than for a Medicare or uninsured patient and about $10,000 more than for a patient with private insurance.

Emergency admission patients accounted for 72 percent of patients who died, while 12 percent were admitted for an elective procedure. About 7 percent of patients were admitted for accidents or intentional injury and about 2 percent of patients were newborn infants.

Septicemia -- a life-threatening blood infection -- was the leading cause of death (15 percent), followed by respiratory failure (8 percent), stroke (6 percent), pneumonia (5 percent), heart attack (5 percent); and congestive heart failure (4 percent). Cancer, aspiration pneumonia and kidney failure were other leading causes of death.

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Recalled Dietary Supplements May Contain Steroids

The business Bodybuilding.com has recalled 65 dietary supplement products sold online that may contain steroids, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The national and international recalls announced by the Boise, Idaho-based company include all lots and expiration dates of dietary supplements that might contain ingredients that are or should be classified as steroids, including "Superdrol," "Madol," "Tren," "Turinabol," and "Androstenedione," United Press International reported.

To learn more about the recall, consumers can contact Bodybuilding.com at 866-236-8417.

The FDA said products with steroids pose health threats, including acute liver injury, male infertility and increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death, UPI reported.

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BPA in Canned Foods Cause for Concern, Group Says

Measurable levels of the chemical additive bisphenol A (BPA) were found in a variety of canned goods, including some that claimed to be BPA-free, according to an analysis released this week by the nonprofit advocacy group Consumers Union.

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