For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Contact: CDC Media Relations
New CDC study highlights burden of pneumonia hospitalizations among US adults
When U.S. adults are hospitalized with pneumonia, viruses are more often to blame than bacteria. However, despite current diagnostic tests, neither viruses nor bacteria are detected in the majority of these patients according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This two-and-a-half year study conducted by researchers at CDC, three hospitals in Chicago, and two hospitals in Nashville estimated the burden of community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizations among U.S. adults.
“Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death among adults in the United States and in 2011 the medical costs exceeded $10 billion,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Most of the time doctors are unable to pinpoint a specific cause of pneumonia. We urgently need more sensitive, rapid tests to identify causes of pneumonia and to promote better treatment.”
The CDC Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community (EPIC) study was a prospective, multi-center, population-based study that used chest x-rays and extensive diagnostic methods to determine the incidence and etiology of community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizations among U.S. adults. Participants in the study were enrolled from January 2010 through June 2012 in three hospitals in Chicago and two in Nashville. Study participants provided specimens that were tested for viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens.