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June 24, 1998

Quality of Care for Elderly Patients With Pneumonia

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(24):1950-1952. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-24-jac80011

To the Editor.— In the study by Dr Meehan and colleagues1 that examined the outcome of approximately 14000 elderly patients hospitalized for pneumonia, 23.4% of patients were referred by a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility. In previous studies, the mortality rate from pneumonia was greater in institutionalized patients as compared with those living in the community.2 This poorer prognosis might be related to patients' frailty, associated illnesses, and pathogens responsible for pneumonia.

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