'Superbug' Kills One in 20 Patients, Study Finds

The so-called superbug, MRSA, killed 5 percent of all patients treated in the U.S. in 2005, according to the latest statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Roughly 368,000 people were treated for Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to the AHRQ News and Numbers summary. When broken down, that's one out of every 20 patients who died from the highly antibiotic resistant staph infection. Most of the patients who died were elderly or low income.

The AHRQ also found:

-- The death rate for hospitalized MRSA patients was higher than the 4 percent death rate for hospitalized tuberculosis patients, another potentially deadly illness.

-- Men were more likely to be hospitalized for MRSA (107 admissions per 100,000) than women (92 admissions per 100,000).

-- People in the South were 27 percent more likely (113 admissions per 100,000) to be hospitalized for MRSA than those in the Northeast and Midwest (89 admissions per 100,000 population). People in the West fell in the middle at 96 admissions per 100,000.