August 10, 2017
2 min read

Community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizes more than 1.5 million patients each year

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Community-acquired pneumonia creates a substantial health care burden in the U.S., forcing the hospitalization of more than 1.5 million adults each year and killing approximately 100,000 patients, according to recently published findings.

Community-acquired pneumonia is the leading cause of infectious disease-related death in the U.S., with mortality occurring largely in patients requiring hospitalization,” Julio A. Ramirez, MD, division chief of infectious diseases at the University of Louisville Department of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Current assessment of the incidence, epidemiology and clinical outcomes of patients hospitalized with [community-acquired pneumonia] is important to guide appropriate allocation of resources for prevention, management and research. [Community-acquired pneumonia] is not a reportable infection in the U.Stherefore data regarding the burden of disease are primarily obtained through clinical investigations, or through use of administrative datasets.”

The researchers conducted a prospective population-based cohort study from June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2016. Ramirez and colleagues calculated the annual population-based incidence of community-acquired pneumonia among adults living in Louisville, Kentucky, evaluating associations with age, race and income level, as well as mortality of patients hospitalized with pneumonia.

There were 186,384 hospitalizations from a citywide population of 587,499 adults, the researchers reported. Of these, 7,449 patients were hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. After Ramirez and colleagues adjusted for age, the incidence was 649 patients per 100,000 adults (95% CI, 628.2-669.8). This corresponded to a nationwide incidence of 1,591,825 adults hospitalized each year, the researchers wrote.

Ramirez and colleagues identified “clusters” of community-acquired pneumonia cases in low-income and American populations.

The mortality rate during hospitalization was 6.5%, which the researchers reported corresponded to 102,821 deaths each year nationwide.

The mortality rate at 30 days was 13%, followed by 23.4% at 6 months and 30.6% at 1 year.

“To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study evaluating data on the number of unique patients requiring hospitalization for [community-acquired pneumonia] in the U.S.,” the researchers wrote. “More than 1.5 million unique adults will be hospitalized in the U.S. each year due to [community-acquired pneumonia], and approximately 100,000 adults will die during their hospitalization. One year after a hospitalization due to [community-acquired pneumonia], death will occur in nearly 1 out of 3 adults. Efforts to advance prevention strategies and treatment modalities are needed.” – by Andy Polhamus

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

There are 102,821 deaths each year nationwide among hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia.