Objective: Several studies have suggested an increased risk of cardiovascular events, primarily acute myocardial infarction, around the time of hospital admission for pneumonia. Therefore, we examined cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, unstable angina, stroke, and serious cardiac arrhythmias, within 90 days after hospitalization for pneumonia.
Methods: By using data from the administrative databases of the Department of Veterans Affairs, we examined a cohort of subjects hospitalized with pneumonia between October 2001 and September 2007. Subjects were at least 65 years of age. We examined the incidence of myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, unstable angina, and stroke by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes, excluding those with a diagnosis before the admission for pneumonia.
Results: The cohort comprised 50,119 subjects with a mean age of 77.5 years (standard deviation 6.7 years), 98% of whom were male. The 90-day incidence of cardiovascular events was 1.5% for myocardial infarction, 10.2% for congestive heart failure, 9.5% for arrhythmia, 0.8% for unstable angina, and 0.2% for stroke. The majority of events occurred during the hospitalization for pneumonia.
Conclusion: A clinically important number of subjects in this cohort had a cardiovascular event within 90 days of hospital admission, suggesting that such events may have an important role in post-pneumonia mortality. Additional research is needed to determine whether interventions may reduce the number of cardiovascular events after pneumonia.
Published by Elsevier Inc.