- Neurologically impaired children with a pneumonia hospitalisation were 36% less likely to experience another if they received dental care.
- Of 8 expert-recommended pneumonia prevention strategies, dental care was the only one to significantly reduce risk.
Why this matters
- High susceptibility of this population to pneumonia.
- 37.5% of the cohort had a subsequent pneumonia hospitalisation.
- Receipt of 8 pneumonia prevention strategies varied:
- Most common: clinic visit after discharge from index hospitalisation (77%).
- Least common: chest physiotherapy (5%).
- Dental care, received by 20%, was the only strategy independently associated with reduced risk for subsequent pneumonia hospitalisation (aOR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.49-0.85).
- Strategies independently associated with increased risk:
- Gastrostomy tube placement (aOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.63-2.85).
- Chest physiotherapy (aOR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.29-3.20).
- Outpatient antibiotics before index hospitalisation (aOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.06-1.92).
- Clinic visit before index hospitalisation (aOR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.11-1.52).
- Clinic visit after index hospitalisation (aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.35-2.20).
- Retrospective cohort study with propensity matching of 3632 children (aged 0-21 years) enrolled in California Children’s Services July 2009-June 2014, having neurologic impairment and a pneumonia hospitalisation.
- Main outcome: subsequent pneumonia hospitalisation.
- Funding: National Institutes of Health.
- Possible residual confounding by indication.
- Potential misclassification.