Preadmission Use of Calcium Channel Blockers and Outcomes After Hospitalization With Pneumonia: A Retrospective Propensity-Matched Cohort Study

Am J Ther. Jan/Feb 2017;24(1):e30-e38. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000312.


In sepsis, an overwhelming immune response, as mediated by the release of various inflammatory mediators, can lead to shock, multiple organ damage, and even death. Pneumonia is the leading cause of sepsis. In animal septic models, sepsis could induce uncontrolled calcium (Ca) leaking, raising cytosolic Ca to a toxic level, causing irreversible cellular injuries and organ failure. All types of calcium channel blockers (CCBs), by inhibiting Ca influx, have been shown to decrease overall mortality in various septic animal models. However, to our best knowledge, no clinical study had been conducted to investigate the beneficial effect(s) of CCBs in sepsis. We conducted a retrospective propensity-matched cohort study after screening 2214 patients hospitalized for pneumonia from year 2012 to 2014 at our institution. We identified 387 preadmission CCB users and 387 nonusers by propensity score matching. Logistic regression analysis was then used to determine the association between preadmission CCB use and outcomes in pneumonia. Our study showed that the odds for development of severe sepsis was significantly lower in the CCB user group [odds ratio (OR), 0.466; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.311-0.697; P = 0.002]. Preadmission CCB use was associated with a lower risk of contracting bacteremia (OR, 0.498; 95% CI, 0.262-0.99; P = 0.0327), lower risk of acute respiratory insufficiency (OR, 0.573; 95% CI, 0.412-0.798; P = 0.001), lower risk of intensive care unit admission (OR, 0.602; 95% CI, 0.432-0.840; P = 0.0028). In conclusion, our study suggested preadmission CCB use was associated with a reduction in the risks of development of respiratory insufficiency, bacteremia, and severe sepsis in patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pneumonia / therapy*
  • Propensity Score
  • Protective Factors
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / epidemiology


  • Calcium Channel Blockers