Pneumococcal pneumonia a risk factor for blood clots

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015

Patients hospitalised with pneumococcal pneumonia are at an almost two-fold increased risk of  blood clots and should receive prophylaxis treatment, experts from New Zealand say.

Writing in an editorial in Respirology Lutz Becker from the University of Otago and Anthony Raman from Canterbury District Health Board in Christchurch note that guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians recommending all hospitalised medical patients receive VTE prophylaxis had recently been challenged.

However in the current issue of the journal they say evidence from a new study suggests evidence may be catching up with guidelines.

The Taiwanese retrospective case-control study of 20,000 pneumonia patients followed for 14 years found increased short and long-term risks for both DVT and PE.

The risks of developing DVT and PE were 1.78-fold  and 1.97-fold , respectively, in patients with pneumococcal pneumonia compared to a control cohort after adjusting for age, gender and comorbidities, the study found.

The risk was highest in the first four weeks following diagnosis, a finding which Becker and Raman said was important as the likely influence of new confounding factors at this time point would be low.

“This study adds to our evidence base that patients admitted with a pneumococcal pneumonia may be at increased risk of VTE and should be considered for VTE prophylaxis as per ACCP guidelines,” they concluded.



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