Risk factors for severe pneumonia in children in south Kerala: a hospital-based case-control study

J Trop Pediatr. 1994 Aug;40(4):201-6. doi: 10.1093/tropej/40.4.201.


A case-control study was undertaken in 400 children under 5 years of age in South Kerala, India, to identify the risk factors for severe pneumonia. Cases were in-patients with severe pneumonia as ascertained by WHO criteria, while controls were out-patients with non-severe acute respiratory infections. Only four from many probable risk factors emerged as being significant, viz. young age, immunization, delayed weaning, and sharing of bedroom. The significant factors on univariate analysis were parental education, environmental pollution, discontinuation of breastfeeding in young infants, malnutrition, hypovitaminosis A, low birth weight, previous history of severe ARI, unresponsiveness to earlier treatment, and use of non-allopathic medicine. Correction of these factors can probably reduce mortality due to ARI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors