Greg S. Martin talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's Fast Moving Front in the field of Clinical
Article: The epidemiology of sepsis in the United
States from 1979 through 2000
GS;Mannino, DM;Eaton, S;Moss, M
Journal: N ENGL J MED|348 (16): 1546-1554 APR 17 2003
Addresses: Emory Univ, Grady Mem Hosp, Dept Med, Div Pulm
Allergy & Crit Care, 69 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE,Rm 2D-004,
Atlanta, GA 30303 USA.
Emory Univ, Sch Med, Dept Med, Div Pulm Allergy & Crit
Care, Atlanta, GA USA.
Ctr Dis Control & Prevent, Natl Ctr Environm Hlth,
Atlanta, GA USA.
Why do you think your paper is highly
Sepsis represents a substantial healthcare burden, and there is limited
epidemiologic information about the demography of sepsis or about the
temporal changes in its incidence and outcome. We investigated the national
epidemiology of sepsis in the United States, with specific examination of
race and sex, causative organisms, the disposition of patients, and the
incidence and outcome. This paper is highly cited because it is the primary
epidemiological study of sepsis covering the entire US, with particular
attention to longitudinal changes and novel reporting of disparities based
upon race and gender.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper
in layman's terms?
Sepsis, the body's life-threatening response to infection, is increasing in
incidence each year in the US, and the incidence is twice as high in
non-white races and 30% higher in men than women.
How did you become involved in this research and
were any particular problems encountered along the way?
This project grew out of an interest in gaining a greater understanding of
sepsis and as a collaboration with colleagues at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA.
Where do you see your research leading in the
We hope to further examine the causes for racial and gender disparities,
with the intent of developing interventions to ameliorate those
disparities, and to determine the underlying reasons for changes in
Do you foresee any social or political implications
for your research?
There are clear implications for our research, specifically in terms of
healthcare resource utilization—increasing incidence of an expensive
and often fatal disease—and the existence of disparities based upon
race and gender.
Greg S. Martin, M.D., M.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Division Director for Critical Care
Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care
Emory University School of Medicine
Section Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care
Director, Medical and Coronary Intensive Care
Grady Memorial Hospital
Atlanta, GA, USA Web