Tobacco smoking increases the risk for death from pneumococcal pneumonia

Chest. 2014 Oct;146(4):1029-1037. doi: 10.1378/chest.13-2853.


Background: Active smoking increases the risk of developing community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and invasive pneumococcal disease, although its impact on mortality in pneumococcal CAP outcomes remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of current smoking status on pneumococcal CAP mortality.

Methods: We performed a multicenter, prospective, observational cohort study in 4,288 hospitalized patients with CAP. The study group consisted of 892 patients with pneumococcal CAP: 204 current smokers (22.8%), 387 nonsmokers (43.4%), and 301 exsmokers (33.7%).

Results: Mortality at 30 days was 3.9%: 4.9% in current smokers vs 4.3% in nonsmokers and 2.6% in exsmokers. Current smokers with CAP were younger (51 years vs 74 years), with more alcohol abuse and fewer cardiac, renal, and asthma diseases. Current smokers had lower CURB-65 (confusion, uremia, respiratory rate, BP, age ≥ 65 years) scores, although 40% had severe sepsis at diagnosis. Current smoking was an independent risk factor (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 1.8-13.5; P = .001) for 30-day mortality of pneumococcal CAP after adjusting for age (OR, 1.06; P = .001), liver disease (OR, 4.5), sepsis (OR, 2.3), antibiotic adherence to guidelines, and first antibiotic dose given < 6 h. The independent risk effect of current smokers remained when compared only with nonsmokers (OR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.3-12.6; P = .015) or to exsmokers (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.09-4.95; P = .02).

Conclusions: Current smokers with pneumococcal CAP often develop severe sepsis and require hospitalization at a younger age, despite fewer comorbid conditions. Smoking increases the risk of 30-day mortality independently of tobacco-related comorbidity, age, and comorbid conditions. Current smokers should be actively targeted for preventive strategies.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / mortality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / mortality*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Survival Rate