Trends in the global burden of lower respiratory infections: one step forward and one step back

The Lancet Infectious DiseasesScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 28, 2022



Greater than 2 million children and adults die each year from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and respiratory syncytial virus. This study, for the first time, determined the incidence and mortality rate of LRIs among children > 5 years of age and adults. A more thorough understanding of LRI epidemiology will help identify age- and gender-specific modifiable risk factors and implement targeted preventive measures.

The incidence, age- and gender-associated mortality rates, and risk factors for LRIs were determined in 204 countries using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study. An LRI was defined as pneumonia or bronchiolitis that was diagnosed by a healthcare provider.

In 2019 the global burden of LRIs was 489 million (males, 257 million; females, 232 million). There were 1.3 million and 1.2 million LRI-associated deaths among males and females, respectively.

The incidence of LRIs and LRI-associated mortality rate increased 126% and 100% in males > 70 years of age, respectively. In contrast, he LRI-associated mortality rate decreased 70.7% in males < 5 years of age.