Risk Factors for the Development of Pneumonia and Severe Pneumonia in Children

Indian Pediatr. 2021 Nov 15;58(11):1036-1039.


Objective: To identify the risk factors for pneumonia and severe pneumonia in children.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Five tertiary-care teaching hospitals in India.

Participants: Children 2 to 59 months of age suffering from acute respiratory infection (ARI).

Main outcome measures: Risk factors for the development of WHO defined pneumonia and severe pneumonia.

Result: A total of 18159 children screened, and 7026 (39%) children with ARI were enrolled. According to the WHO criteria, 938 (13.4%) and 6088 (86.6%) of the enrolled children had pneumonia and no pneumonia, respectively. Out of 938 children with pneumonia, 347 (36.9%) had severe pneumonia. On univariate analysis, younger age, male gender and low weight for height, were significant risk factors for pneumonia. On multivariate analysis, one-unit increase in age in months (OR = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.97-0.98) and weight for height z-score (OR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.72-0.79) had a protective effect.

Conclusions: Young age and undernutrition (low weight for height/length) in children are significant independent risk factors for pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pneumonia* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Infections*
  • Risk Factors