Disease burden of hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia in South Korea: Analysis based on age and underlying medical conditions

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Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and mortality worldwide. Despite recognition of the importance of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adults, limited epidemiologic information is available in South Korea. This study aimed to evaluate the disease burden of hospitalized CAP in adults aged ≥19 years and its epidemiologic trend using Health Insurance and Review Assessment (HIRA) data.

This is a retrospective study using the HIRA database from year 2009 to 2013. We estimated the incidence rate and direct medical cost of hospitalized CAP in adults aged ≥19 years in South Korea. These were further analyzed with respect to age and underlying medical conditions.

During 2009 to 2013, 1216,916 hospitalizations were recorded. On average, the annual age-adjusted incidence rate of hospitalized CAP was 626 per 100,000 persons, with the rate increasing with age. When stratified by age- and risk groups, elderly people ≥75 years showed the highest incidence rate of hospitalized CAP over 5-year study periods. With respect to the risk groups based on underlying medical conditions, incidence rate ratios were 2.04 to 5.86 for the high-risk group versus the low-risk group and 1.28 to 5.49 for the moderate-risk group versus the low-risk group. Overall, mean direct medical cost for hospitalized CAP was 1851 USD per capita during the 5-year period: 1263 USD in the low-risk group, 2353 USD in the moderate-risk group, and 2841 USD in the high-risk group.

This study shows that the incidence and medical cost of hospitalized CAP were consistently high over the 5-year study period. In particular, elderly people and adults with underlying medical conditions were at increased risk for hospitalized CAP.

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