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Epidemiologic trends in the hospitalization of elderly Medicare patients for pneumonia, 1991-1998.

Baine WB, Yu W, Summe JP. Epidemiologic trends in the hospitalization of elderly Medicare patients for pneumonia, 1991-1998. American journal of public health. 2001 Jul 1; 91(7):1121-3.

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OBJECTIVES: This study determined hospitalization rates of elderly Americans for pneumonia from 1991 through 1998. METHODS: Epidemiologic data were described for 273,143 pneumonia hospitalizations. RESULTS: Annual hospitalizations for aspiration pneumonia increased by 93.5%. Pneumonia hospitalization rates increased steeply with age, especially among men. Black men were at highest risk for aspiration, unspecified, Klebsiella, "other gram-negative," and staphylococcal pneumonia; White men had the highest Haemophilus and pneumococcal pneumonia rates. Among women, Blacks predominated in aspiration and Klebsiella pneumonia; Whites had the highest Haemophilus and bronchopneumonia rates. CONCLUSIONS: An epidemic of hospitalization for aspiration pneumonia smoldered over 8 years. Significant disparities existed in hospitalization risks by race, sex, and principal diagnosis.

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