Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Epidemiological analysis of Legionella pneumonia in Japan: A national inpatient database study
Satoshi KutsunaHiroyuki OhbeNaoki KandaHiroki MatsuiHideo Yasunaga
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication
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Article ID: JE20230178


Background: Legionella pneumonia, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by Legionella bacteria. The epidemiology of Legionnaires' disease in Japan, including seasonal trends, risk factors for severe disease, and fatality rates, is unclear. This study examined the epidemiology of Legionella pneumonia in Japan.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included data of adult patients hospitalized for Legionella pneumonia (identified using the ICD-10 code, A481) in the Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination inpatient database, from April 2011 to March 2021. We performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to explore the prognostic factors of in-hospital mortality.

Results: Of 7370 enrolled hospitalized patients from 1140 hospitals (male, 84.4%; aged >50 years, 87.9%), 469 (6.4%) died during hospitalization. The number of hospitalized patients increased yearly, from 658 in 2016 to 975 in 2020. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that higher in-hospital mortality was associated with older age, male sex, lower body mass index, worsened level of consciousness, comorbidities (congestive heart failure, chronic renal diseases, and metastasis), hospitalization from November to May, and ambulance use. However, lower in-hospital mortality was associated with comorbidity (liver diseases), hospitalization after 2013, and hospitalization in hospitals with higher case volume.

Conclusions: The characterized epidemiology of Legionella pneumonia in Japan revealed a high mortality rate of 6.4%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a higher mortality rate in winter and in patients with congestive heart failure and metastasis. Further research is needed to understand the complex interplay between the prognostic factors of Legionella pneumonia.

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© 2023 Satoshi Kutsuna et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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