Study objectives: To assess whether prior outpatient treatment is associated with outcome in patients hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
Patients and methods: All patients with a first hospital admission for CAP between 1995 and 2000 were selected. Patients were divided into two groups, one of patients with use of antibacterial agents prior to hospitalization and one of patients treated as inpatient directly. The main outcome measures were duration of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality.
Results: The two patient groups comprised 296 and 794 patients, respectively. The median duration of hospital stay was 10 days and was similar for both groups. In patients with respiratory diseases or heart failure, the median duration of hospital stay was 12 and 14 days, respectively. The overall in-hospital mortality was 7.2% and did not largely differ between both groups. In patients with congestive heart failure, the mortality was 9.8% for controls and 23.3% for patients hospitalized after initial outpatient treatment (adjusted OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.01-7.81).
Conclusions: Prior outpatient antibacterial therapy is not associated with outcome in hospitalized pneumonia patients. In patients with underlying chronic heart failure, prior outpatient antibiotic is associated with a significant increased mortality.