University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To assess long-term outcomes in severe early childhood pneumonia in The Gambia. DESIGN: Observational cohort study of children hospitalised with severe pneumonia between 1992 and 1994 compared to age, sex, and neighbourhood-matched controls on measures of current general and pulmonary health. RESULTS: Of 83 children successfully traced, 68 of the 69 alive at follow-up agreed to participate. Thirteen per cent of cases and 4% of controls had lung disease clinically or on spirometry. Another 16 (13%) participants had abnormal spirometry but did not meet the American Thoracic Society technical criteria (formally 'inconclusive'). Odds ratios of lung disease among childhood pneumonia cases were 2.93 (95%CI 0.69-12.48, P = 0.1468) with inconclusives omitted; 2.53 (95%CI 0.61-10.59, P = 0.2033) with inconclusives included as normal; and 2.83 (95%CI 1.09-7.36, P = 0.0334) with inconclusives included as lung disease. Among deceased cases, most deaths were reported within weeks of discharge, suggesting a possible connection between admission and subsequent death. CONCLUSION: These African data, while not conclusive, add to previous data suggesting a link between severe early childhood pneumonia and later chronic lung disease. While larger-scale research is needed, increased awareness of possible long-term morbidity in children with severe pneumonia is warranted to limit its impact and optimise long-term health.
PMID: 19335961 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]View More