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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2012 Jun;20(2):121-5.

Opportunity for healthy ageing: lessening the burden of adult pneumococcal disease in Central and Eastern Europe, and Israel.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine No. II, Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest, Hungary.


The population of the Region (Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Israel) is ageing, necessitating preventative programmes to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in older age groups. Invasive pneumococcal disease (including bacteremic pneumonia, bacteremia without a focus, and meningitis) has higher incidence, morbidity and mortality in older adults and is a substantial public health burden in the ageing population. Surveillance in the Region establishes a significant burden in older adults of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), which still appears to be under-estimated as compared with other countries, and this warrants an improvement in surveillance systems. The largest proportion of IPD in adults is bacteremic pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), largely attributable to S. pneumoniae, can be bacteremic or non-bacteremic; the non-bacteremic forms of CAP also represent a significant burden in the Region. The burden of pneumococcal disease can be reduced with programmes of effective vaccination. Recommendations on pneumococcal vaccination in adults vary widely across the Region. The main barrier to implementation of vaccination programmes is low awareness among healthcare professionals on serious heatlh consequences of adult pneumococcal disease and of vaccination options. The Expert Panel calls on healthcare providers in the Region to improve pneumococcal surveillance, optimize and disseminate recommendations for adult vaccination, and support awareness and education programmes about adult pneumococcal disease.

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