Pneumonia is a common but serious illness that continues to present significant morbidity and mortality. Although the effect of severity at admission on outcome has been well reported, the role of comorbidity is still not widely understood. The Charlson Comorbidity Index measures comorbidity with a well-established history of predicting long-term outcome but its utility in pneumonia prognosis is still limited. Here, we use the Charlson Comorbidity Index and hospital surveillance data to investigate associations between comorbidities and in-hospital mortality due to community-acquired pneumonia.
Among the 535 eligible adult patients (69.0% male, median [IQR] age, 79 [70-84] years), 100 (18.7%) acquired severe to extremely severe pneumonia. The median [IQR] CCI was 1[1-3]. Malignancy (129 of 535, 24.1%), chronic pulmonary diseases (113 of 535, 21.1%) and congestive heart failure (103 of 535, 19.3%) were frequent. Higher Charlson Comorbidity Index scores were associated with higher risk of in-hospital mortality (OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.07-1.53). These results support the inclusion of comorbid burden in predicting community-acquired pneumonia outcome.