Global and local epidemiology of community-acquired pneumonia: the experience of the CAPNETZ Network

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Apr;30(2):127-35. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1202941. Epub 2009 Mar 18.


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Young children and the elderly are disproportionately affected by CAP. Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), including CAP, were ranked third in a list of the 30 leading causes of death worldwide in 1990. Mortality rates are low (< 2%) in CAP patients treated as outpatients, but are higher (5 to 20%) among patients hospitalized for CAP, and are highest (up to 50%) in patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Several risk factors are known to be associated with increases in mortality, the most important of which are age > 65 years, male gender, and comorbidities such as chronic heart failure, advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neurological diseases, and liver cirrhosis. Patients living in nursing homes may have a special risk for multiresistant bacterial infection. The incidence of CAP varies worldwide by country, age, and gender. Further, data about epidemiology, etiology, morbidity, mortality, and economical burden of diseases differ between countries. In this review, we present recent data regarding the incidence, etiology, and rate of antibiotic resistance among CAP patients from the German Network for Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAPNETZ) registry and review data from several European countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / complications
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate