Long-term effects of pneumonia in young children

Keith Grimwood, Anne Chang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Each year an estimated 120 million episodes of pneumonia occur in children younger than 5 years of age, resulting in one million deaths globally. Within this age group the lungs are still developing by increasing alveoli numbers and airway dimensions. Pneumonia during this critical developmental period may therefore adversely affect the lung’s structure and function, with increased risk of subsequent chronic lung disease. However, there are few longitudinal studies of pneumonia in otherwise healthy children that extend into adulthood to help address this important question. Birth cohort, longitudinal, case-control and retrospective studies have reported restrictive and obstructive lung function deficits, asthma, bronchiectasis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In particular, severe hospitalised pneumonia had the greatest risk for long-term sequelae. Most studies, however, were limited by incomplete follow-up, some reliance upon parental recall, risk of diagnostic misclassification, and potential confounders such as nutrition, social deprivation, and pre-existing small airways or lungs. More long-term studies measuring lung function shortly after birth are needed to help disentangle the complex relationships between pneumonia and later chronic lung disease, while also addressing host responses, types of infection, and potential confounding variables. Meanwhile, parents of young children with pneumonia need to be advised about the importance of symptom resolution, post-pneumonia. In addition, paying attention to factors associated with optimising lung growth such as good nutrition, minimising exposure to air pollution, avoiding cigarette smoke, and decreasing the risk of preventable infections through good hygiene and having their children fully vaccinated should be emphasised. Finally, in the developing world and for disadvantaged communities in developed countries, public health policies leading to good quality housing and heating, hygiene, education, and improving socio-economic status are also essential.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-114
    Number of pages14
    JournalPneumonia
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2015

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    Pneumonia
    Lung
    Hygiene
    Lung Diseases
    Chronic Disease
    Parturition
    Bronchiectasis
    Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
    Air Pollution
    Vulnerable Populations
    Public Policy
    Health Policy
    Infection
    Developed Countries
    Smoke
    Tobacco Products
    Heating
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    Longitudinal Studies
    Case-Control Studies

    Cite this

    Grimwood, Keith ; Chang, Anne. / Long-term effects of pneumonia in young children. In: Pneumonia. 2015 ; Vol. 6. pp. 101-114.
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    abstract = "Each year an estimated 120 million episodes of pneumonia occur in children younger than 5 years of age, resulting in one million deaths globally. Within this age group the lungs are still developing by increasing alveoli numbers and airway dimensions. Pneumonia during this critical developmental period may therefore adversely affect the lung’s structure and function, with increased risk of subsequent chronic lung disease. However, there are few longitudinal studies of pneumonia in otherwise healthy children that extend into adulthood to help address this important question. Birth cohort, longitudinal, case-control and retrospective studies have reported restrictive and obstructive lung function deficits, asthma, bronchiectasis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In particular, severe hospitalised pneumonia had the greatest risk for long-term sequelae. Most studies, however, were limited by incomplete follow-up, some reliance upon parental recall, risk of diagnostic misclassification, and potential confounders such as nutrition, social deprivation, and pre-existing small airways or lungs. More long-term studies measuring lung function shortly after birth are needed to help disentangle the complex relationships between pneumonia and later chronic lung disease, while also addressing host responses, types of infection, and potential confounding variables. Meanwhile, parents of young children with pneumonia need to be advised about the importance of symptom resolution, post-pneumonia. In addition, paying attention to factors associated with optimising lung growth such as good nutrition, minimising exposure to air pollution, avoiding cigarette smoke, and decreasing the risk of preventable infections through good hygiene and having their children fully vaccinated should be emphasised. Finally, in the developing world and for disadvantaged communities in developed countries, public health policies leading to good quality housing and heating, hygiene, education, and improving socio-economic status are also essential.",
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    Long-term effects of pneumonia in young children. / Grimwood, Keith; Chang, Anne.

    In: Pneumonia, Vol. 6, 27.10.2015, p. 101-114.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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