A research team has developed a predictive score to aid healthcare professionals in determining which older adults may be most at risk for developing pneumonia.
To determine their prediction score, researchers studied older adults enrolled in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. The study’s participants included 3,392 older adults living in the Seattle area. They were 65-years-old or older, dementia-free, and did not have any cognitive (thinking) problems.
During the study, 642 participants were diagnosed with pneumonia; 574 died. The researchers determined that the seven factors critical to a pneumonia prediction score included:
- Congestive heart failure
- Body mass index
- Prescriptions for inhaled or oral corticosteroids
Doctors could potentially use the pneumonia prediction score to encourage older adults to get the pneumococcal vaccine that protects against pneumonia, as well as to counsel at-risk individuals about positive behavioral changes such as quitting smoking, said the researchers.