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Approved Research

Incidence of pneumonia and subsequent outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes or cancer

Principal Investigator: Professor Li Shen
Approved Research ID: 93403
Approval date: November 19th 2022

Lay summary

Pneumonia is a common acute infection that affects one or both lungs. It often leads to hospital admissions and can be life-threatening, thus represents an important public health problem worldwide. In the United States community-acquired pneumonia affects more than 5 million adults and causes approximately 1.5 million hospital admissions and up to 100,000 deaths each year. Disease burdens are similar in Europe. In the UK, for example, pneumonia accounts for more hospital admissions and bed-days than any other lung condition.

Furthermore, hospital admission and death related to this lung infection increase dramtically in the elderly and for those with chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Reliable estimates of incident rate of pneumonia are essential for evaluating the demand for preventive measures (e.g., vaccination) and medical resources. However, limited evidence is available on the disease-specific burden of pneumonia among patients with a broad spectrum of chronic conditions.

Although traditionally regarded as an acute event, there is evidence that pneumonia can cause long-term cardiovascular complications, particularly heart attacks, and these sequalae can further lead to an increase in hospital admissions and death. Nevertheless, Whether the picture is the same in patients with specific chronic conditions has not been appreciated fully.

Therefore, in this study we aim to examine the incident rate of pneumonia overall and among patients with specific conditions including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and cancer, and to assess disease-specific impact of pneumonia on short-term and long-term death and hospital admissions.

We hope this study would help us better define the burdens of pneumonia overall and in patients with specific chronic conditions, and offer insight into the disease-specific impact of this lung infection on subsequent hospital admissions and mortality. This may help us identify some high-risk groups who are more vulnerable to this infection, and more effective preventive strategies can be targeted to high-risk populations. Additionally, this may stimulate further studies to investigate the mechanisms underlying the elevation in risk after pneumonia.

The duration of this project is estimated to be 36 months, considering the time for data clean, statistical analysis, manuscript writing and sending the manuscript to a medical journal with possible revisions.