The absolute number of pneumonia deaths in India has declined substantially since 2000. However, pneumonia remains a major cause of morbidity in children in the country. We used a risk factor-based model to estimate pneumonia and severe pneumonia morbidity in Indian states in 2000 and 2015.
In this modelling study, we estimated the burden of pneumonia and severe pneumonia in children younger than 5 years using a risk factor-based model. We did a systematic literature review to identify published data on the incidence of pneumonia from community-based longitudinal studies and calculated summary estimates. We estimated state-specific incidence rates for WHO-defined clinical pneumonia between 2000 and 2015 using Poisson regression and the prevalence of risk factors in each state was obtained from National Family Health Surveys. From clinical pneumonia studies, we identified studies reporting the proportion of clinical pneumonia cases with lower chest wall indrawing to estimate WHO-defined severe pneumonia cases. We used the estimate of the proportion of cases with lower chest wall indrawing to estimate WHO-defined severe pneumonia cases for each state.
Between 2000 and 2015, the estimated number of pneumonia cases in Indian HIV-uninfected children younger than 5 years decreased from 83·8 million cases (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 14·0-300·8) to 49·8 million cases (9·1-174·2), representing a 41% reduction in pneumonia cases. The incidence of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years in India was 657 cases per 1000 children (95% UI 110-2357) in 2000 and 403 cases per 1000 children (74-1408) in 2015. The estimated national pneumonia case fatality rate in 2015 was 0·38% (95% UI 0·11-2·10). In 2015, the estimated number of severe pneumonia cases was 8·4 million (95% UI 1·2-31·7), with an incidence of 68 cases per 1000 children (9-257) and a case fatality ratio of 2·26% (0·60-16·30). In 2015, the estimated number of pneumonia cases in HIV-uninfected children was highest in Uttar Pradesh (12·4 million [95% UI 2·1-45·0]), Bihar (7·3 million [1·3-26·1]), and Madhya Pradesh (4·6 million [0·7-17·0]). Between 2000 and 2015, the greatest reduction in pneumonia cases was observed in Kerala (82% reduction). In 2015, pneumonia incidence was greater than 500 cases per 1000 children in two states: Uttar Pradesh (565 cases per 1000 children [95% UI 94-2047]) and Madhya Pradesh (563 cases per 1000 children [88-2084]).
The estimated number of pneumonia and severe pneumonia cases among children younger than 5 years in India decreased between 2000 and 2015. Improvements in socioeconomic indicators and specific government initiatives are likely to have contributed to declines in the prevalence of pneumonia risk factors in many states. However, pneumonia incidence in many states remains high. The introduction of new vaccines that target pneumonia pathogens and reduce risk factors will help further reduce the burden of pneumonia in the country.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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