(HealthDay)—From 2002 to 2012 there was a decrease in the incidence of admission for aspiration pneumonia, according to research published in the June 1 issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Chao-Ping Wu, M.D., from Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues describe U.S. national trends for pneumonia from 2002 to 2012 using the U.S. National Inpatient Sample database. The authors examined trends in incidence, in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and total hospitalization costs. Data were included for 406,798 patients admitted for aspiration pneumonia.

The researchers found that 20.7 and 79.3 percent of patients were younger than 65 years of age and aged 65 years or older, respectively. There was a decrease in the overall incidence of aspiration , from 8.2 to 7.1 cases per 10,000 people from 2002 to 2012, and a decrease in in-hospital mortality from 18.6 to 9.8 percent. The incidence decreased from 40.7 to 30.9 cases per 10,000 people among patients aged 65 years or older, and in-hospital mortality decreased from 20.7 to 11.3 percent. In both groups, there was an increase in the median total hospitalization charges. Independent predictors of in-hospital mortality were age 65 years or older and treatment in a nonteaching hospital.

"Strategies to prevent in the community should be implemented in the aging U.S. population," the authors write