Hypoalbuminemia is associated with increased risk of infections. The aim of this study was to determine if serum albumin level is an independent predictor of nosocomial pneumonia in stroke patients. Data of 705 consecutive ischemic stroke patients admitted within 24 h after stroke onset were analyzed retrospectively. Serum albumin level was measured within 36 h after stroke onset. Nosocomial pneumonia was found in 10.5% of stroke patients. Patients with pneumonia had significantly lower serum albumin level than those without pneumonia (31.9 +/- 7.5 g/l vs. 35.5 +/- 6.9 g/l) and serum albumin level was associated with risk of pneumonia on multivariate analysis (OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.91-0.98). Our results show that serum albumin level is an independent predictor of nosocomial pneumonia in stroke patients.