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Child Pneumonia Rate Dropped Globally From 2000 to 2015

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 -- The global incidence of child pneumonia and related mortality decreased substantially from 2000 to 2015, consistent with decreases in the prevalence of some key risk factors, according to a study published in the January issue of The Lancet Global Health.

David A. McAllister, M.D., from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and colleagues used data from a systematic review to estimate the incidence of clinical pneumonia as well as the number of hospital admissions and in-hospital mortality due to all-cause clinical pneumonia in children <5 years in developing countries at five-year intervals during the Millennium Development Goal period (2000 to 2015).

The researchers found that globally, the number of episodes of clinical pneumonia in young children decreased by 22 percent, from 178 million in 2000 to 138 million in 2015. More than half of all global pneumonia cases (54 percent) in 2015 occurred in Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, and India, with 32 percent of the global burden from India alone. The burden of clinical pneumonia attributable to HIV decreased by 45 percent between 2000 and 2015. During the study period, global hospital admissions for child pneumonia increased by 2.9 times, with a more rapid increase seen in the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region versus the African Region. However, in this age group, pneumonia deaths decreased from 1.7 million in 2000 to 0.9 million in 2015. In 2015, 49 percent of global pneumonia deaths occurred in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia. With the exception of low birth weight, all key risk factors for child pneumonia (nonexclusive breastfeeding, crowding, malnutrition, indoor air pollution, incomplete immunization, and pediatric HIV) decreased across all regions during the study period.

"These reductions are consistent with the decrease in the prevalence of some of the key risk factors for pneumonia, increasing socioeconomic development and preventive interventions, improved access to care, and quality of care in hospitals," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Sanofi.

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Posted: January 2019

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