What age groups are at highest risk for developing acute bacterial meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Newborns are at highest risk for acute bacterial meningitis. After the first month of life, the peak incidence is in infants aged 3-8 months. In addition, the incidence is increased in persons aged 60 years and older, independent of other factors. The annual incidence ranges from 1.7 to 7.2 cases per 100,000 adults; the mean annual incidence has been reported as 3.8 cases per 100,000 adults. Of patients with bacterial meningitis, 61% had no previous or present accompanying diseases that may have predisposed them to meningitis.


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