Pneumonia Incidence and Mortality in Mainland China: Systematic Review of Chinese and English Literature, 1985–2008
Pneumonia is a leading infectious disease killer worldwide, yet the burden in China is not well understood as much of the data is published in the non-English literature.
We systematically reviewed the Chinese- and English-language literature for studies with primary data on pneumonia incidence and mortality in mainland China. Between 1985 and 2008, 37 studies met the inclusion criteria. The quality of the studies was highly variable. For children <5 years, incidence ranged from 0.06–0.27 episodes per person-year and mortality ranged from 184–1,223 deaths per 100,000 population. Overall incidence and mortality were stable or decreased over the study period and were higher in rural compared to urban areas.
Pneumonia continues to be a major public health challenge in young children in China, and estimates of pneumonia incidence and mortality vary widely. Reliable surveillance data and new prevention efforts may be needed to achieve and document additional declines, especially in areas with higher incidence and mortality such as rural settings.
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