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Editor's Correspondence |

Do Findings of High Mortality From Pneumonia in the Elderly Make It the Old Man's Friend?—Reply

Renzo Rozzini, MD; Tony Sabatini, MD; Marco Trabucchi, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(2):225. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.2.225-b.
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In reply

We are grateful to van der Steen and colleagues for their observations on the important topic of pneumonia treatment in the elderly. As a contribution to the discussion, we would like to summarize the data obtained in our setting and to propose some comments on this matter.

  • As reported in our recent article in the ARCHIVES,1 elderly patients hospitalized with pneumonia have a higher 6-month mortality rate compared with those affected by other noninfectious diseases;

  • Patients with pneumonia have a higher burden of somatic, biological, and psychological conditions;

  • While different conditions are associated with 6-month mortality, in adjusted analysis the association between pneumonia and 6-month mortality loses its statistical significance;

  • In end-stage demented patients affected by pneumonia, the 6-month mortality rate is dramatically increased, even if a sizable percentage (20%) remain alive.2

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