Hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly: an Australian case-cohort study

Susan Anne Skull, Ross Andrews, G BYRNES, Donald Campbell, H KELLY, G BROWN, T NOLAN

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This study describes the epidemiology of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in elderly Australians for the first time. Using a case-cohort design, cases with CAP were in-patients aged ?65 years with ICD-10-AM codes J10-J18 admitted over 2 years to two tertiary hospitals. The cohort sample was randomly selected from all hospital discharges, frequency-matched to cases by month. Logistic regression was used to estimate risk ratios for factors predicting CAP or associated mortality. A total of 4772 in-patients were studied. There were 1952 cases with CAP that represented 4% of all elderly admissions: mean length of stay was 9.0 days and 30-day mortality was 18%. Excluding chest radiograph, 520/1864 (28%) cases had no investigations performed. The strongest predictors of CAP were previous pneumonia, history of other respiratory disease, and aspiration. Intensive-care-unit admission, renal disease and increasing age were the strongest predictors of mortality, while influenza vaccination conferred protection. Hospitalization with CAP in the elderly is common, frequently fatal and a considerable burden to the Australian community. Investigation is ad hoc and management empirical. Influenza vaccination is associated with reduced mortality. Patient characteristics can predict risk of CAP and subsequent mortality. � 2008 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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