Trends in Pneumonia Mortality Rates and Hospitalizations by Organism, United States, 2002–2011

Brandon A. Wuerth; John P. Bonnewell; Timothy L. Wiemken; Forest W. Arnold


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2016;22(9):1624-1627. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Because the epidemiology of pneumonia is changing, we performed an updated, population-based analysis of hospitalization and case-fatality rates for pneumonia patients in the United States. From 2002 to 2011, hospitalization rates decreased significantly for pneumonia caused by pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae but increased significantly for Pseudomonas spp., Staphylococcus aureus, and influenza virus.


Pneumonia is the leading cause of infection-related deaths in the United States, with potential for severe complications such as respiratory failure and sepsis.[1] A recent nationwide study noted that prior studies may have overestimated a temporal reduction in mortality rate.[2] As pneumonia epidemiology has changed, interest in following epidemiologic trends continues, particularly for the various etiologic organisms. Emergence of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has highlighted the role of influenza viruses as etiologic agents of pneumonia.[3]

The epidemiology of pneumonia is constantly changing because of advances in preventive measures, diagnostic testing, and novel therapies. Although the epidemiology, by organism, of pneumonia in hospital patients was recently clarified,[4] our study also considered the effects of influenza virus and included regional information. Our objective was to provide an updated population-based analysis of hospitalized pneumonia patients to determine the major etiologic agents and associated hospitalization rates, case-fatality rates, and patient demographic differences (age, sex, and region).