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Pneumonia statistics

Pneumonia is an inflammation of one or both lungs, usually caused by an infection. It causes the alveoli (air sacs) inside the lungs to fill with fluid, making it harder for them to work properly. The body sends white blood cells to fight the infection, and while this helps kill the germs it can also make it harder for the lungs to pass oxygen into the bloodstream. Some people with mild pneumonia can manage the condition at home. People who have been admitted to hospital with other medical problems and then develop pneumonia have a high risk of becoming very ill.

These statistics on pneumonia in the UK were compiled as part of our Respiratory Health of the Nation project by teams at St George’s University of London, Nottingham University and Imperial College London.

Numbers of people who develop pneumonia

How many people in the UK develop pneumonia each year?

In 2012, 345 people for every 100,000 had one or more episodes of pneumonia, down from 307 per 100,000 in 2004. In 2009, this rose to 409 people for every 100,000 due to a global flu pandemic. Around 220,000 people receive a diagnosis of pneumonia each year. Some individuals receive more than one diagnosis within a year, but we have focused on the number of individuals who received a diagnosis, rather than the number of cases.

Number of people per 100,000 who developed pneumonia 2004–12


How many people develop pneumonia in each region of the UK?

In 2012, a significantly higher proportion of people developed pneumonia in the East Midlands and the North West of England than in the UK generally.

The proportions were lower in Scotland and considerably lower in the other regions of England, and in Wales and Northern Ireland.

This pattern was seen fairly constantly in the years 2004–12.

Number of people per 100,000 who developed pneumonia, by UK region, 2004–12


How many males and females develop pneumonia in the UK?

In 2012, 329 males and 361 females for every 100,000 developed pneumonia in the UK, down from 292 males and 321 females for every 100,000 in 2004.

Males and females who developed pneumonia per 100,000, 2004–12


Ages of people with pneumonia

How old are the people with pneumonia in the UK?

Pneumonia affects the youngest and oldest most.

In 2012:

  • 473 for every 100,000 children aged 0-5 years;
  • 843 for every 100,000 adults aged 71-80; and
  • 1,838 for every 100,000 adults aged 81 and above, had pneumonia.

This pattern was seen throughout the years 2004–12.

Number of people per 100,000 who developed pneumonia, by age group, 2004–12


Deaths from pneumonia

How many people die from pneumonia in the UK compared to the rest of the world?

In the period 2001–10, 214 people for every million died from pneumonia in the UK, which sits just outside the top 20 of countries for deaths from pneumonia.

The only European countries with higher rates than the UK are Slovakia and Romania.

Number of people per million of population by country who died from pneumonia, 2001–10


How many males and females died from pneumonia in the UK in 2012?

In 2012, of the 28,952 deaths from pneumonia (5.1 per cent of all deaths and 25.3 per cent of deaths from lung disease), 12,239 were males and 16,713 were females. The total number of deaths was down from 32,282 in 2008.

UK deaths from pneumonia compared with other lung diseases, 2012


How old were the people who died from pneumonia in the UK in 2012?

In 2012, of the 28,952 deaths from pneumonia:

  • 58 were among those aged 0–14 years of age;
  • 1,374 were among those aged 15–64; and
  • 27,520 were among those aged 65 and above. 

How many people died from pneumonia in each UK region in 2008–12?

England: There was a higher death rate in the North West and South East of England than in the UK generally. There was a lower death rate in the East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands and the South West than in the UK generally.

Scotland: The death rate was similar to that of the UK generally.

Wales: The death rate was higher than in the UK generally.

Northern Ireland: The death rate was higher than in the UK generally.

Pneumonia mortality ratios by UK regions, males and females, 2008–12

Relative risk of death from pneumonia, by local authority district (England, Scotland and Wales), 2008–12

© Copyright info

Relative risk is used in medical research to compare risk in different groups of people.  In the maps we show the risk of an area (local authority district) relative to the average for Scotland, England and Wales. Here we show whether the group of people living in a particular area have a risk of dying from pneumonia that is lower or higher than the average. Because of the way relative risk is calculated there must always be some areas above average and some below average.

You can find out how these figures were calculated.


Emergency hospital admissions

How do rates of emergency admission to hospital for pneumonia vary across the UK, 2008–12?

England: There were higher rates of emergency admission in the North East and North West, London and Yorkshire and the Humber than in the UK generally. There were notably lower rates of admission in the East of England, the South East and South West.

Scotland: Admission rates were similar to those in the UK generally.

Wales: Admission rates were similar to those in the UK generally.

Northern Ireland: There were higher rates of emergency admission than in the UK generally.

Pneumonia hospital admission ratios, males and females, in each UK region, 2008–12

Relative risk of hospital admission for pneumonia, by local authority district (England, Scotland and Wales), 2010

© Copyright info

Relative risk is used in medical research to compare risk in different groups of people.  In the maps we show the risk of an area (local authority district) relative to the average for Scotland, England and Wales. Here we show whether the group of people living in a particular area have a rate of emergency admission from pneumonia that is lower or higher than the average. Because of the way relative risk is calculated there must always be some areas above average and some below average.

You can find out how these figures were calculated.


Standard of living and pneumonia

Does your standard of living affect your chances of getting pneumonia in the UK?

 

In 2012, pneumonia was around 45% more common in the most deprived quintile of society than the least deprived. This difference has been fairly consistent over recent years. The one exception is during 2009, when the incidence for the overall population is greater. 

Number of people who developed pneumonia per 100,000 by standard of living, 2004–12

Find out how the standard of living figures were calculated: Methodology - standard of living