Childhood pneumonia linked with higher death risk from respiratory infection as adult: Lancet study
London, Mar 8 (PTI) Respiratory infections contracted during early childhood are associated with an increased risk in death from respiratory illness between the ages of 26 and 73 years, according to a study published in The Lancet journal.
The study suggests that, although the overall number of premature deaths from respiratory disease was small, people who had a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), such as bronchitis or pneumonia, by the age of two were 93 per cent more likely to die prematurely from respiratory disease as adults, regardless of socioeconomic background or smoking status.
Chronic respiratory diseases pose a major public health problem, with an estimated 3.9 million deaths in 2017, accounting for 7 per cent of all deaths worldwide, the researchers said.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused most of these deaths, they said.
Infant LRTIs have been shown to be linked to the development of adult lung function impairments, asthma, and COPD, but it was previously unclear if there exists a link to premature death in adulthood.
The latest research is the first lifetime-spanning study on this topic, providing the best evidence yet to suggest that early respiratory health has an impact on mortality later in life.