Community-acquired pneumonia common, deadly in seniors
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is common among elderly adults and is associated with a high mortality risk, a recent US study has shown.
Drawing from the University of Louisville Pneumonia Study, researchers conducted a population-based cohort study of all adults admitted for CAP. Study outcomes included length of stay, mortality and time to clinical stability. The study included 4,279 elderly adults, 3,143 were between the ages of 65 and 84 years (48 percent male), while the remaining 1,145 were at least 85 years of age (41 percent male).
The yearly incidence of hospitalization for CAP in elderly adults was calculated to be 2,093 per 100,000 population. When expanding the coverage to the entire US, this incidence rate translated to an adjusted number of 942,437 CAP hospitalizations in a year. Excluding admissions from nursing homes, the incidence rate for the entire country dropped to 773,187 per year.
Disaggregation according to age found that the incidence rate in the 65–84-year age group was 1,786 per 100,000 population, less than half of that in the older age group (3,948 per 100,000 population).
The median time to clinical stability was calculated to be 2 days, while the median length of hospital stay was 6 days. Thirty-day and 6-month mortality rates were 17 percent and 38 percent, respectively. The 1-year mortality rate in the study cohort was 38 percent, which corresponds to 361,982 deaths per year all over the country.