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South Med J. 2008 Nov;101(11):1134-40; quiz 1132, 1179. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e31818247f1.

Pneumonia in the elderly: a review of severity assessment, prognosis, mortality, prevention, and treatment.

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  • 1Northern Clinical Research Centre, The Northern Hospital, 185 Cooper Street, Epping 3076, Victoria, Australia. carol.chong@nh.org.au


Pneumonia is an increasingly common disease in the elderly due to an aging population. This is a comprehensive literature review outlining the severity assessment, morbidity, mortality, prevention and treatment options. Several models have been postulated to predict severity assessment and prognosis in older patients. Mortality increases with age and functional status is also an independent predictor for short- and long-term mortality. The effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine is controversial, whereas the influenza vaccine is universally recommended. Treatment involves antibiotics with the type and method depending on the severity of the pneumonia. However, treatment of nursing home patients is challenging and there are no validated guidelines at present to determine when transfer to the hospital is necessary.

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