Some early hints at his adult income

A kindergarten boy’s behavior could predict his income as an adult, a new study has found.

Kindergarten teachers in the poorest neighborhoods of Montreal rated 920 6-year-old boys using scales measuring inattention, hyperactivity, defiant behavior, aggression and prosociality (the tendency to help someone being hurt, stop quarrels or invite a bystander into a game).

Researchers then gathered information on earnings from tax returns at ages 35 to 36. The study is in JAMA Pediatrics.

After controlling for IQ and family adversity, the scientists found that boys in the highest one-quarter for inattention later earned an average of about $17,000 less a year than those in the lowest one-fourth.

Those in the highest one-quarter for scores in prosociality earned an average of about $12,000 more annually than those in the lowest.

Although there was a tendency for higher scores in hyperactivity, defiant behavior and aggression to lead to lower income, the effect was not statistically significant.

The authors caution that the results may not apply to other socioeconomic populations.

A co-author, Richard E. Tremblay, an emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of Montreal, said that early interventions have been shown in previous studies to reduce high-school dropout rates, drug use and criminal behavior.

This study, he said, suggests “there is a very clear indication that an intervention early in elementary school will have a long-term impact on earnings.”

Sepsis causes many

hospital deaths

Sepsis, a life-threatening response to infection, is a common cause of deaths in hospitals, according to a new report.

The study looked at 568 people who had died in hospitals and whose average age was 70. More than half had sepsis, and it was the immediate cause of death for nearly 200 of them; another 100 had sepsis but did not die of it.

Only 36 of the sepsis deaths might have been prevented with earlier antibiotic treatment or other measures, the researchers determined.

Dr. Chanu Rhee, an infectious disease and critical care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the study’s lead author, said that many hospital patients with sepsis are elderly, frail, suffering from multiple underlying diseases and often terminally ill, and they do not survive even when provided with timely and appropriate care.

“Any preventable death from sepsis is a tragedy,” Rhee said, “but there is a perception that all sepsis deaths are preventable, and this study challenges that perception.” The study was published in JAMA Network Open.

One million to 3 million Americans are found to have sepsis each year, and 15 percent to 30 percent of them will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And though sepsis primarily affects people over 65, children are also susceptible; more than 42,000 children in the United States develop sepsis each year, leading to 4,400 deaths, according to one estimate.

Symptoms of sepsis include chills or fever, extreme pain or discomfort, clammy or sweaty skin, confusion or disorientation, shortness of breath and a high heart rate.

If you are concerned a loved one may have sepsis, seek care immediately, and ask the doctor, “Could it be sepsis?”

“My takeaway from this study is that we need to be even more vigilant to catch sepsis earlier in these vulnerable patients,” said Dr. Steven Simpson, medical director of the nonprofit Sepsis Alliance and a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Kansas. “People with cancer, heart failure, kidney disease and lung disease need to be informed: ‘Sepsis is your No. 1 enemy. These are the signs you need to be looking for.”

Do beta blockers cause weight gain?

Yes. Weight gain can occur as a side effect of some beta blockers, especially the older ones, such as atenolol (Tenormin) and metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL).

The average weight gain is about 2.6 pounds.

Newer beta blockers, such as carvedilol (Coreg), don’t usually cause weight gain as a side effect.

Weight may rise in the first weeks of taking the beta blocker and then generally stabilizes.

However, the beta blockers that can cause weight gain usually aren’t prescribed unless other medications haven’t worked, or if you have a specific heart condition that requires taking those medications.

Beta blockers are used to treat a host of conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, migraines, glaucoma and anxiety.

Doctors aren’t sure exactly why some beta blockers cause weight gain. It could be that beta blockers slow your metabolism.

Also, if you switch from taking a water pill (diuretic) to a beta blocker as a treatment for high blood pressure, you may gain a few pounds of weight that the diuretic kept off.

If you’re taking a beta blocker for heart failure, tell your health care provider immediately if you suddenly begin to gain more than 2 to 3 pounds in a day or 5 pounds in a week.

This sudden weight gain may mean that fluid is building up in your legs, abdomen or chest, which may signal that your heart failure is worsening.

Your doctor can help distinguish weight gain from the buildup of fluid that may occur in heart failure.

—From wire reports