Objective: To investigate the outcome for children hospitalised with radiologically confirmed community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)
Design: Controlled follow-up study.
Setting: Community based in Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland schools.
Patients: 103 cases of radiologically confirmed CAP a median of 5.6 years (range 4.4–7.4) after admission to Newcastle General Hospital, matched for sex and school class to a mean of two controls (n = 248).
Interventions: A respiratory questionnaire, clinical examination and spirometry measurements.
Main outcome measures: Multiple regression was used to describe associations between explanatory variables, including CAP, and outcome variables: forced expiratory volume in 1 s percent predicted (FEV1 %), forced vital capacity percent predicted (FVC %), persistent cough, doctor diagnosis of asthma and abnormal chest shape.
Results: Cases were 2.9 times more likely (95% CI 1.45 to 5.71, p = 0.020) than controls to have persistent cough and 5.5 times more likely to have an abnormal chest shape (95% CI 1.65 to 18.28, p = 0.005). Cases of an atopic parent had a 7.0% deficit in FEV1 % predicted (95% CI −10.5 to −3.2, p<0.001) and a 4.4% deficit in FVC % predicted (95% CI −8.0 to −0.78, p = 0.017), but were not at increased risk of subsequent asthma. Cases of a non-atopic parent were at increased risk of subsequent asthma (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.43 to 16.34, p = 0.011) but not of deficit in lung function.
Conclusions: CAP requiring admission to hospital is associated with deficits in lung function and persistent respiratory symptoms. This has implications for follow-up for which recommendations are currently lacking. Parental atopy may be a determinant of outcome.
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Funding: Sir Halley Stewart Trust, the Children’s Research Fund, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
Competing interests: KME conducted the community-acquired pneumonia study supported by a grant received by DS from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Wyeth manufacture a pneumococcal vaccine. The study was not biased as the result of financial support from Wyeth. DH has no declared conflict of interest. LP does not have any financial relationship with a commercial entity that has an interest in the subject of this paper.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was given by the Newcastle and North Tyneside joint local research ethics committee and the Northumberland local research ethics committee.