Background:Pneumonia is one of most prevalent infectious diseases worldwide and is associated with considerable mortality. In comparison to general population, schizophrenia patients hospitalized for pneumonia have poorer outcomes. We explored the risk factors of short-term mortality in this population because the information is lacking in the literature.Methods:In a nationwide schizophrenia cohort, derived from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan, that was hospitalized for pneumonia between 2000 and 2008 (n = 1,741), we identified 141 subjects who died during their hospitalizations or shortly after their discharges. Based on risk-set sampling in a 1:4 ratio, 468 matched controls were selected from the study cohort (i.e., schizophrenia cohort with pneumonia). Physical illnesses were categorized as pre-existing and incident illnesses that developed after pneumonia respectively. Exposures to medications were categorized by type, duration, and defined daily dose. We used stepwise conditional logistic regression to explore the risk factors for short-term mortality.Results:Pre-existing arrhythmia was associated with short-term mortality (adjusted risk ratio [RR] = 4.99, p<0.01). Several variables during hospitalization were associated with increased mortality risk, including incident arrhythmia (RR = 7.44, p<0.01), incident heart failure (RR = 5.49, p = 0.0183) and the use of hypoglycemic drugs (RR = 2.32, p<0.01). Furthermore, individual antipsychotic drugs (such as clozapine) known to induce pneumonia were not significantly associated with the risk.Conclusions:Incident cardiac complications following pneumonia are associated with increased short-term mortality. These findings have broad implications for clinical intervention and future studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms of the risk factors.
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