Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) causes considerable morbidity and mortality in adults, particularly in the elderly.
Structured searches of PubMed were conducted to identify up-to-date information on the incidence of CAP in adults in Europe, as well as data on lifestyle and medical risk factors for CAP.
The overall annual incidence of CAP in adults ranged between 1.07 to 1.2 per 1000 person-years and 1.54 to 1.7 per 1000 population and increased with age (14 per 1000 person-years in adults aged ≥65 years). Incidence was also higher in men than in women and in patients with chronic respiratory disease or HIV infection. Lifestyle factors associated with an increased risk of CAP included smoking, alcohol abuse, being underweight, having regular contact with children and poor dental hygiene. The presence of comorbid conditions, including chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, dementia, dysphagia, HIV or chronic renal or liver disease all increased the risk of CAP by twofold to fourfold.
A range of lifestyle factors and underlying medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of CAP in European adults. Understanding of the types of individual at greatest risk of CAP can help to ensure that interventions to reduce the risk of infection and burden of disease are targeted appropriately.