It is well established that the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) increases after respiratory infection. However, the reverse association has not been evaluated. We tested the hypothesis that the long-term risk of pneumonia is increased after a new ACS event. A matched-cohort study was conducted using a nationally representative dataset. We identified patients with admission for ACS between 2004 and 2014, without a previous history of ACS or pneumonia. Incidence density sampling was used to match patients, on the basis of age and sex, to 3 controls who were also free from both ACS and pneumonia. We examined the incidence of pneumonia after ACS until the end of the cohort observation (Dec 31, 2014). The analysis cohort consisted of 5469 ACS cases and 16,392 controls (median age, 64 years; 68.3% men). The incidence rate ratios of the first and the total pneumonia episodes in the ACS group relative to the control group was 1.25 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–1.41) and 1.23(95% CI 1.11–1.36), respectively. A significant ACS-related increase in the incidence of pneumonia was observed in the Cox-regression, shared frailty, and joint frailty model analyses, with hazard ratios of 1.25 (95% CI 1.09–1.42), 1.35 (95% CI 1.15–1.58), and 1.24 (95% CI 1.10–1.39), respectively. In this population-based cohort of patients who were initially free from both ACS and pneumonia, we found that hospitalization for ACS substantially increased the long term risk of pneumonia. This should be considered when formulating post-discharge care plans and preventive vaccination strategies in patients with ACS.
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