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Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Institutionalized Elders : Are Teeth a Reservoir For Respiratory Pathogens?

Gene R. Pesola, MD, MPH
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Affiliations: New York, NY
 ,  Dr. Pesola is Associate Attending, Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Harlem Hospital/Columbia University.

Correspondence to: Gene R. Pesola, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine, Harlem Hospital/Columbia University, MLK 14101, 506 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10037; e-mail: grp4@columbia.edu



Chest. 2004;126(5):1401-1403. doi:10.1378/chest.126.5.1401
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Pneumonia and influenza are currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 65,984 deaths occurring in 2002, for an overall death rate of 22.9 per 100,000 population.1 In the elderly, defined as age ≥ 65 years, pneumonia and influenza are the fifth leading cause of death, with 59,235 deaths and an overall death rate of 166.4 per 100,000. In other words, approximately 90% of deaths related to this disease combination occur at ≥ 65 years of age. More than 98% of these deaths are secondary to pneumonia, with a minor contribution from influenza.

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