Background: The pathophysiological mechanisms which contribute to an increased risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in patients using proton pump inhibitors are not well established.
Aim: To examine differences in microbial etiology in patients with CAP between patients with and without proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy and its possible impact on disease severity.
Methods: All individuals consulting the emergency care unit were prospectively registered and underwent chest radiography. Sputum, urine, nose-throat swabs and blood samples were obtained for microbial evaluation. We evaluated the association between use of proton pump inhibitors, etiology of CAP and severity of illness with multivariate regression analysis.
Results: The final cohort comprised 463 patients, 29% using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Pathogens regarded as oropharyngeal flora were more common in CAP patients using PPI therapy compared to those who did not (adjusted OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.22-3.72). Patients using proton pump inhibitors more frequently had an infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae (28% vs. 14%) and less frequently with Coxiella burnetii (8% vs. 19%) compared to nonuser of PPI. Adjusted for baseline differences, the risk of PPI users being infected with S. pneumonia was 2.23 times (95% CI: 1.28-3.75) higher compared to patients without PPI's. No risk between PPI use and any other microbial pathogen was found. There was no difference in severity of CAP between patients with and without using PPI therapy.
Conclusions: Proton pump inhibitor therapy was associated with an approximately 2-fold increased risk to develop community-acquired pneumonia possibly as a result of S. pneumoniae infection.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.