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Study Looks at Pediatric Pneumonia Complication Rates

Systemic complication rates due to community-acquired pneumonia down only in those under 1


TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of systemic complications associated with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) fell only in children under the age of 1 following the introduction of heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in 2000, but local complications related to CAP have increased among all pediatric age groups, according to research published online July 19 in Pediatrics.

Grace E. Lee, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from the Kids' Inpatient Database from 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006 to calculate national estimates for rates of CAP and CAP-associated complications for children 18 and under.

The researchers found 619,102 CAP discharges during these years. Overall rates didn't change substantially between 1997 and 2006. However, the rates decreased by 22 percent in children under 1, showed little change in children aged 1 to 5, and increased by 22 percent in children aged 6 to 12 and by 41 percent in children ages 13 and older. Rates of systemic complications were highest in children under 1, but declined by 36 percent. Systemic complication rates stayed stable in all other age groups. Local complication rates rose 78 percent overall and were highest in children aged 1 to 5. Rates of local complications increased in all age groups.

"Since the introduction of PCV7 in 2000, rates of CAP hospitalizations have decreased for children <1 year of age but seem to be increasing for children >5 years of age. Rates of systemic complications have decreased for children <1 year of age, but rates of local complications are increasing in all pediatric age groups. Additional studies are needed to determine the underlying epidemiological factors associated with these changes," the authors conclude.

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