Participation of Elderly Adults in Randomized Controlled Trials Addressing Antibiotic Treatment of Pneumonia.

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Participation of Elderly Adults in Randomized Controlled Trials Addressing Antibiotic Treatment of Pneumonia.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Feb;63(2):233-243

Authors: Avni T, Shiver-Ofer S, Leibovici L, Tacconelli E, DeAngelis G, Cookson B, Pagani L, Paul M

OBJECTIVES: To examine how relevant current evidence on antibiotic treatment of pneumonia is for elderly adults.
DESIGN: Systematic review.
SETTING: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs; N = 43) comparing different antibiotics and prospective observational studies (N = 182) published since 2005.
PARTICIPANTS: Adults with community-acquired (CAP), healthcare-associated (HCAP), hospital-acquired (HAP), or ventilator-associated (VAP) pneumonia.
MEASUREMENTS: Exclusion criteria that could preferentially limit participation of elderly adults were examined, subgroup or other adjusted analyses were searched for according to age, and treatment effects in participants younger than 65 in RCTs were compared with those in participants aged 65 and older. Mean participant ages in RCTs and observational studies were compared. Risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for differences between older and younger adults were pooled using a fixed effect metaanalysis.
RESULTS: No RCT reported exclusion based on an upper age limit; 100% of community CAP trials, 90% of hospitalized CAP trials, and 76% of HAP and VAP trials excluded individuals based on comorbidities. None of the RCTs reported a subgroup analysis for mortality according to age. The RR for the pooled difference in treatment failure rates between participants younger than 65 and those aged 65 and older was 1.25 (95% CI = 0.94-1.65, 12 RCTs) and between participants younger than 75 and aged 75 and older was 1.43 (95% CI = 0.98-2.09, 7 RCTs). RCT participants were significantly younger (54.0 ± 9.6) than those in observational studies of CAP (66.2 ± 8.1, P < .001). Age differences were not significant for HCAP, HAP, and VAP.
CONCLUSION: Elderly adults are often excluded from RCTs of bacterial pneumonia. No data were found on the comparative efficacy of antibiotic treatment in elderly adults and the general population.

PMID: 25688601 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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