In 2001, at the age of 98 years, Bob Hope, the famous American comedian, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He recovered and left the hospital to live another 2 years, but not before his obituary had been prematurely released. When asked where he would want to be buried, he told his wife, “Surprise me.”
The above story underlines the mortality hazard that remains after recovery from community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This important question is addressed by Bordon and colleagues1 in this issue of CHEST(see page 279). Their study has a number of strengths. It has a large population under study and, being a veteran population, there is good long-term follow-up over a period of > 7 years from the index hospitalization. Moreover, the relative contributions of age > 65 years and comorbidities to this mortality hazard are all included in the Cox proportional hazards regression model that they used. Of necessity, these authors used an administrative definition to screen for CAP.