Background: Healthcare-associated pneumonia (HCAP) has more similarities to nosocomial pneumonia than to community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). However, there have only been a few epidemiological studies of HCAP in South Korea. We aimed to determine the differences between HCAP and CAP in terms of clinical features, pathogens, and outcomes, and to clarify approaches for initial antibiotic management.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational study of 527 patients with HCAP or CAP who were hospitalized at Severance Hospital in South Korea between January and December 2008.
Results: Of these patients, 231 (43.8%) had HCAP, and 296 (56.2%) had CAP. Potentially drug-resistant (PDR) bacteria were more frequently isolated in HCAP than CAP (12.6% vs. 4.7%; P = 0.001), especially in the low-risk group of the PSI classes (41.2% vs. 13.9%; P = 0.027). In-hospital mortality was higher for HCAP than CAP patients (28.1% vs. 10.8%, P < 0.001), especially in the low-risk group of PSI classes (16.4% vs. 3.1%; P = 0.001). Moreover, tube feeding and prior hospitalization with antibiotic treatment within 90 days of pneumonia onset were significant risk factors for PDR pathogens, with odds ratios of 14.94 (95% CI 4.62-48.31; P < 0.001) and 2.68 (95% CI 1.32-5.46; P = 0.007), respectively.
Conclusions: For HCAP patients with different backgrounds, various pathogens and antibiotic resistance of should be considered, and careful selection of patients requiring broad-spectrum antibiotics is important when physicians start initial antibiotic treatments.