Long-Term Mortality in Patients Diagnosed With Pneumococcal Meningitis: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study

Department of Infectious Diseases, Rigshospitalet, and University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 08/2010; 172(3):309-17. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwq126
Source: PubMed


The objective of the study was to determine the long-term mortality and the causes of death in patients diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis. The authors performed a nationwide, population-based cohort study including all Danish patients diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis from 1977 through 2006 and alive 1 year after diagnosis. Data were retrieved from medical databases in Denmark. The absolute and relative risks of all-cause and cause-specific death were analyzed by using Kaplan-Meier survival curves, Poisson regression analysis, Cox regression analysis, and cumulative incidence functions. The authors identified 2,131 pneumococcal meningitis patients and an age- and gender-matched, population-based cohort of 8,524 individuals. Compared with the background population, the pneumococcal meningitis patients had an increased long-term mortality varying from an 8-fold increased mortality in the age category 0-<20 years to a 1.5-fold increased mortality in those aged 60-<80 years. The increased risk of death stemmed from neoplasms, liver diseases, and nervous system diseases. The excess mortality due to neoplasms stemmed mainly from a 5-fold increased risk of death due to hematologic neoplasms. To improve survival in patients surviving the acute phase of pneumococcal meningitis, physicians should meticulously screen this patient population for neurologic sequelae and comorbidity predisposing to the disease.

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