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New perspectives on community-acquired pneumonia in 388 406 patients. Results from a nationwide mandatory performance measurement programme in healthcare quality.

BACKGROUND: The database of the German programme for quality in healthcare including data of every hospitalised patient with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) during a 2-year period (n = 388 406 patients in 2005 and 2006) was analysed. METHODS: End points of the analysis were: (1) incidence; (2) outcome; (3) performance of the CRB-65 (C, mental confusion; R, respiratory rate >or=30/min; B, systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure or=65 years) score in predicting death; and (4) lack of ventilatory support as a possible indicator of treatment restrictions. The CRB-65 score was calculated, resulting in three risk classes (RCs). RESULTS: The incidence of hospitalised CAP was 2.75 and 2.96 per 1000 inhabitants/year in 2005 and 2006, respectively, higher for males (3.21 vs 2.52), and strongly age related, with an incidence of 7.65 per 1000 inhabitants/year in patients aged >or=60 years over 2 years. Mortality (13.72% and 14.44%) was higher than reported in previous studies. The CRB-65 RCs accurately predicted death in a three-class pattern (mortality 2.40% in CRB-65 RC 1, 13.43% in CRB-65 RC 2 and 34.39% in CRB-65 RC 3). The first days after admission were consistently associated with the highest risk of death throughout all risk classes. Only a minority of patients who died had received mechanical ventilation during hospitalisation (15.74%). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalised CAP basically is a condition of the elderly associated with a higher mortality than previously reported. It bears a considerable risk of early mortality, even in low risk patients. CRB-65 is a simple and powerful tool for the assessment of CAP severity. Hospitalised CAP is a frequent terminal event in chronic debilitated patients, and a limitation of treatment escalation is frequently applied. Thorax. 2009;64(12):1062-1069. Epub 2009 May 18.

Author: Ewig S, Birkner N, Strauss R, Schaefer E, Pauletzki J, Bischoff H, Schraeder P, Welte T, Hoeffken G

Published: 01/01/2009

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Thorax