THE CHARACTERISTICS of pneumonia as seen in particular types of institutions or certain age groups have been frequently reviewed. The relationship of pneumonia to other conditions, both respiratory and nonrespiratory, has also been stressed. Often the implication is that secondary pneumonia occurs predominantly in the elderly patient. We have been impressed by the frequency with which a history of prior pulmonary disease is encountered in young patients with pneumonia and have wondered if perhaps secondary pneumonia is not more common in this age group than is generally appreciated. To determine the frequency of predisposing conditions, we have reviewed the experience with pneumonia at Letterman General Hospital over the last 3 years.
The records were reviewed of all patients treated for pneumonia on the Infectious Disease Ward of Letterman General Hospital from Jan. 1, 1959, to Dec. 31, 1961. Cases of pneumonia which developed in the hospital were excluded.