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Limited information exists on the clinical characteristics predictive of mortality in patients aged ≥65 years in many countries. The impact of adherence to current antimicrobial guidelines on the mortality of hospitalized elderly patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has never been assessed.
A total of 3131 patients aged ≥65 years were enrolled from a multi-center, retrospective, observational study initiated by the CAP-China network. Risk factors for death were screened with multivariable logistic regression analysis, with emphasis on the evaluation of age, comorbidities and antimicrobial treatment regimen with regard to the current Chinese CAP guidelines.
The mean age of the study population was 77.4 ± 7.4 years. Overall in-hospital and 60-day mortality were 5.7% and 7.6%, respectively; these rates were three-fold higher in those aged ≥85 years than in the 65–74 group (11.9% versus 3.2% for in-hospital mortality and 14.1% versus 4.7% for 60-day mortality, respectively). The mortality was significantly higher among patients with comorbidities compared with those who were otherwise healthy. According to the 2016 Chinese CAP guidelines, 62.1% of patients (1907/3073) received non-adherent treatment. For general-ward patients without risk factors for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infection (n = 2258), 52.3% (1094/2090) were over-treated, characterized by monotherapy with an anti-pseudomonal β-lactam or combination with fluoroquinolone + β-lactam; while 71.4% of intensive care unit (ICU) patients (120/168) were undertreated, without coverage of atypical bacteria. Among patients with risk factors for PA infection (n = 815), 22.9% (165/722) of those in the general ward and 74.2% of those in the ICU (69/93) were undertreated, using regimens without anti-pseudomonal activity. The independent predictors of 60-day mortality were age, long-term bedridden status, congestive heart failure, CURB-65, glucose, heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) and albumin levels.
Overtreatment in general-ward patients and undertreatment in ICU patients were critical problems. Compliance with Chinese guidelines will require fundamental changes in standard-of-care treatment patterns. The data included herein may facilitate early identification of patients at increased risk of mortality.
The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02489578).