CVD risk raised fourfold in first month after pneumonia

CVD risk raised fourfold in first month after pneumonia

The study*, published today in JAMA, found that CVD risk was particularly increased in the first month after infection, but remained raised even in the longer term.

Researchers led from Ontario, Canada, looked at data from two separate community-based study groups – the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS, in which 5,888 people aged 65 years or older had been enrolled from 1989-1994) and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (ARIC, in which 15,792 people aged 45-64 years had been enrolled from 1987-1989). They matched each case of hospitalisation for pneumonia with two controls who had not been hospitalised for pneumonia, and then analysed the relative risk of CVD occurrence (heart attack, stroke, and fatal coronary heart disease) between cases and controls in the 10 years following hospitalisation.

In CHS, there were 591 cases of hospitalisation for pneumonia, among whom 206 people had a CVD event at some point in the following 10 years; in ARIC, of the 680 pneumonia cases, 112 had a CVD event in the 10 years after hospitalisation.

Earlier research into the association, if any, between infection and people’s subsequent long-term risk of CVD had had conflicting results. But in this study, people hospitalised for pneumonia had a fourfold risk of CVD in the first month after pneumonia, compared with controls. The relative risk progressively declined over the first year, but even in subsequent years remained about 1.5-fold higher among cases than controls. The association between admission for pneumonia and CVD events persisted after adjusting for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, and crude measures of frailty, and was also seen over a range of severity of infection.

The authors wrote: “Moreover, in our analyses, the magnitude of risk for CVD associated with pneumonia was similar or higher compared with the risk of CVD associated with traditional risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, and hypertension. Thus, our results suggest that pneumonia is an important risk factor for CVD.”

They added that characterising this risk is important in developing optimal preventive strategies for CVD.

* Vicente F. Corrales-Medina, et al. Association Between Hospitalization for Pneumonia and Subsequent Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA. 2015;313(3):264-274. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.18229

By Louise Prime,

OnMedica, Wednesday 21st Jannuary 2015

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