Pneumonia is twice as dangerous to older adults as hip fracture, according to French researchers.

In a population-based study, investigators compared two-year outcomes in patients 80 years and older who had been hospitalized for either acute respiratory infection or hip fracture. Participants treated for pneumonia were twice as likely to die during the study period as those who received hip fracture treatment, they found.

Patients hospitalized for pneumonia had also had more comorbidities and greater unadjusted in-hospital mortality. 

This sobering comparison could bring needed attention to relative dangers of pneumonia and the need for prevention, they wrote. “Better recognition will improve the prevention of pneumonia by increasing uptake of vaccines, such as influenza and pneumococcus,” concluded Leslie Grammatico-Guillon, University of Tours, France, and colleagues.

The study was accepted for presentation at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2020, and included in a book of abstracts after the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus.