Survivors of invasive pneumococcal pneumonia may suffer shorter lifespans

Liz Meszaros, MDLinx | August 04, 2017

The majority of adults recovering from invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) may die before their documented life expectancy, according to results published in the American Journal of Medicine Sciences that highlight not only the importance of pneumococcal vaccination for adults, but the devastating effects of IPD as well.


Bad news for survivors?

Life expectancy may be decreased in adults who have survive invasive pneumococcal disease.

“Our study group comprised 155 adults who survived invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), a particularly deadly infection,” said senior author Maurice A. Mufson, MD, professor emeritus, department of internal medicine, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Huntington, WV.  “Only 14 patients lived longer than their life expectancy, indicating the importance of immunization of adults with pneumococcal vaccines as well as the pernicious severity of IPD.”

In this study, Dr. Mufson and colleagues assessed the lifespan of adults who had recovered from IPD over 32 years of follow-up. Using data from all hospitals that were affiliated with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, they identified adults discharged after an episode of IPD from 1983-2003 who were alive on June 30, 2014 through a variety of methods, including EHRs, state health records, and

“The strengths of our study, in addition to the long follow-up interval of patients, included three different techniques for assessing lifespan,” said Dr. Mufson.

In all, 155 adults who survived IPD were alive on June 30, 2014. Mean age at discharge was 64.6 years, mean lifespan after IPD was 7.1 years, mean expected lifespan after IPD was 17.0 years, mean age at death was 71.6 years, and mean life expectancy was 81.6 years.

Only 9% of patients lived longer than their life expectancy.

Researchers also analyzed 13 comorbid diseases, and found that cancer and neurologic disease, and the number of comorbid diseases per patient were significant variables associated with survival.

Mean years of potential life lost was 9.936 years. Of the 31 serotypes recovered, serotype 12 occurred more often in patient surviving for 11 or more years after discharge (RR: 3.44; 95% CI: 1.19, 9.95).

Dr. Mufson added that their findings highlight the importance of immunization for pneumococcal pneumonia, which, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include all adults over 65 years old, as well as younger adults with chronic disease.