Risk factors and lifelong impact of community-acquired pneumonia in congenital heart disease

Patrick D. Evers, Dóra K. Farkas, Michael Khoury, Morten Olsen, Nicolas L. Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: The prevalence of congenital heart disease (CHD) in adults is rising necessitating a greater understanding of acquired diseases such as community-acquired pneumonia, which remains a leading cause of age-related mortality and morbidity in the general population. We hypothesise that the CHD population, given cardiopulmonary mechanics and altered immune function, bears a uniquely high risk for pneumonia-related hospitalisations and mortality. Methods: A countrywide cohort study was performed to calculate the relative risk and cumulative incidence of pneumonia hospitalisations and resultant 30-day mortality amongst the adult CHD population, matched 1:10 with non-CHD persons by gender, age, and adjusted for comorbidities. Cox proportional hazard regression quantified the impact of CHD severity and extracardiac defects. Results: The CHD cohort includes 17,162 adults. The majority demonstrate mild/moderate CHD complexity. The cumulative incidence of pneumonia hospitalisation was higher for adults with CHD (hazard ratio 1.90; 95% confidence interval: 1.74-2.06) than the comparison cohort. This risk was increased for those with extracardiac defects or a syndrome (hazard ratio: 4.34; 95% confidence interval: 3.39-5.54). Additionally, CHD individuals with severe/univentricular subtypes demonstrate a heightened risk compared to the non-CHD cohort (hazard ratio: 2.35; 95% confidence interval: 1.94-2.84), as well as compared to those with mild/moderate CHD (hazard ratio: 1.28; 95% confidence interval: 1.07-1.53). In addition, pneumonia hospitalisation mortality was elevated above the comparison population with a 30-day mortality rate ratio of 1.31 (95% confidence interval: 1.00-1.73). Conclusion: Adults with CHD are at elevated risk of pneumonia hospitalisations and pneumonia-associated mortality. This risk is further elevated in those with severe CHD and extracardiac defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Heart defects
  • congenital
  • hospitalisation
  • pneumonia
  • registries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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