Theodore K. Marras, MD, FRCPC, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA; Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common disease in the older adult with significant mortality. The following review focuses on the antibiotic management of CAP, with specific reference to the older adult. Common etiologic organisms and organism-specific risk factors that tend to be associated with increasing age are presented. The rationale behind initial empiric antibiotic therapy is discussed and recent guidelines for the selection of empiric antibiotic therapy are compared. A synthesis of guidelines for antibiotic selection and recommendations regarding the switch from parenteral to oral therapy are presented.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common infectious disease, the incidence of which is consistently associated with increasing age. The overall incidence of CAP has been reported at 10 to 14 per 1,000 patients per year,1,2 and 30 per 1,000 among those older than 75 years.2,3 Compared with people 60-69 years of age, those 70 years or older had a relative risk of developing CAP of 1.5,4 independent of the additional risk conferred by heart disease and institutionalization.