In this study, researchers in Denmark identified 48,857 people infected with the bacteria Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia enterocolitica or Shigella. They compared these with 487,138 controls taken from the general population.
The research team found that 2.2% people with gastrointestinal infections died within 1 year of infection, compared with 0.7% of controls.
The risk of death was 3 times higher in patients infected with 1 of the 4 bacteria.
|Risk of death 3 times higher in infected patients.|
|British Medical Journal|
The team found that although most foodborne gastrointestinal infections are self-limiting, they can cause severe complications and increase risk of death in a subset of patients.
They determined that infection with these bacteria was associated with an increased short term risk of death, even after pre-existing illnesses were taken into account.
Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia enterocolitica infections were also found to be associated with increased long term mortality.
Dr Morten Helms's team concluded, "Current estimates of the burden of foodborne diseases underestimate the number of deaths from bacterial infections".