Time trends in primary-care morbidity, hospitalization and mortality due to pneumonia

Epidemiol Infect. 2009 Oct;137(10):1472-8. doi: 10.1017/S0950268809002258. Epub 2009 Mar 4.


Most studies reporting pneumonia morbidity are restricted to hospitalized patients, although only a minority of pneumonia patients are admitted to hospital. To get a better understanding of the burden of disease in the general population, we conducted a population-based retrospective study to examine trends in pneumonia incidence in general practice, hospitalization, and mortality due to pneumonia in The Netherlands between 1997 and 2007. Between 2001/2002 and 2006/2007 there was an adjusted yearly increase of 12% in the clinical diagnosis of pneumonia in patients consulting general practitioners. Hospitalizations increased 5% per year between 1999/2000 and 2006/2007, while mortality annually decreased by 2% between 1997/1998 and 2006/2007. Our study suggests that the morbidity of pneumonia in the Dutch population increased considerably over this period, especially in primary-care settings, and that focusing only on hospitalization might underestimate the increasing public health burden of pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia / mortality*
  • Primary Health Care / trends*
  • Young Adult