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Comment & Response
October 1, 2014

Azithromycin for Elderly Patients With Pneumonia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio
  • 3Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri, Kansas City
JAMA. 2014;312(13):1352. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10164

To the Editor Dr Mortensen and colleagues1 conducted a retrospective cohort study that evaluated the risk of death with azithromycin use in elderly patients with pneumonia in comparison with other guideline-recommended antibiotics. Azithromycin use was associated with a statistically significant decrease in mortality at 10, 30, and 90 days. However, prior studies in elderly populations have shown an increase in mortality from any cause associated with current use of azithromycin, defined as within 1 to 5 days of therapy.2,3 Mortensen and colleagues did not report the risk of death associated with current use of azithromycin.