Infectious Diseases  /  Age - A Major Risk Factor

Vaccine preventable illnesses and diseases continue to cause significant sickness, hospitalization, pain, disability, and death in the United States.  Pneumonia causes somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 hospitalizations in older adults each year, and more than 50% of flu-related hospitalizations are in people age 65 and older.  Around 50% of the more than 1 million cases of shingles each year are in people age 60 and older.

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    • Pneumonia Death Rate by Age in 2004
      Pneumonia Death Rate Per 100,000 By Age: United States, 2004  
    • Increased rate of hospitalization from shingles
      Hospitalization rates for shingles are 75 times higher in people over 85 than those younger than 30.  
    • 1 in 2 people who live to 85 will get shingles
      Around 1 in 2 people who live to be 85 will get shingles.  
    • Death rate from pneumonia and flu rises significantly with age
      The death rate from pneumonia and influenza is close to 130 times higher in people age 85 and older, compared to people ages 45 to 54. This increased risk due…  
    • Medicare hospitalization rates from pneumonia
      Elderly Medicare patients are hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia at a rate of 18.3 per 1000, compared to 4 per 1000 in younger populations.  
    • Pneumonia in people age 85+
      In the U.S., 1 in every 20 individuals age 85 and older will have a new episode of community-acquired pneumonia each year.  
    • >900,000 cases of pneumonia each year
      Each year, more than 900,000 cases of community-acquired pneumonia are estimated to occur in seniors in the U.S.  
    • Hospitalization rates in shingles patients rises with age
      Hospitalization rates for people with shingles are 75 times higher for people age 85+ than for those under the age of 30.  
    • Hospitalizations from flu increase with age
      People age 65+ account for 50% of flu hospitalizations.  
    • Mortality rates from flu and pneumonia rise significantly with age
      Death rate from pneumonia and flu is 130x higher for ages 85+ compared with people ages 45 to 54. This increased risk due to age is higher than that seen…  
    • 1 in 20 age 85+ will have pneumonia
      Every year 1 in 20 Americans age 85+ will have an episode of community-acquired pneumonia.  
    • High odds of shingles after age 85
      Around 1 in 2 who live to be 85 will get shingles.