Objectives: We examined associations between the socioeconomic characteristics of census tracts and racial/ethnic disparities in the incidence of bacteremic community-acquired pneumonia among US adults.
Methods: We analyzed data on 4870 adults aged 18 years or older with community-acquired bacteremic pneumonia identified through active, population-based surveillance in 9 states and geocoded to census tract of residence. We used data from the 2000 US Census to calculate incidence by age, race/ethnicity, and census tract characteristics and Poisson regression to estimate rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: During 2003 to 2004, the average annual incidence of bacteremic pneumonia was 24.2 episodes per 100 000 Black adults versus 10.1 per 100 000 White adults (RR = 2.40; 95% CI = 2.24, 2.57). Incidence among Black residents of census tracts with 20% or more of persons in poverty (most impoverished) was 4.4 times the incidence among White residents of census tracts with less than 5% of persons in poverty (least impoverished). Racial disparities in incidence were reduced but remained significant in models that controlled for age, census tract poverty level, and state.
Conclusions: Adults living in impoverished census tracts are at increased risk of bacteremic pneumonia and should be targeted for prevention efforts.