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Kids, teens with coeliac disease more likely to acquire bacterial pneumonia

07 Aug 2019

Children and youth with coeliac disease (CD) are at higher risk of developing bacterial pneumonia, a recent study has shown.

The study included 1,294 CD patients (61.1 percent female) and 6,470 controls (61.1 percent female) matched by gender and birth year. Hospital admissions for a principal diagnosis of bacterial and pneumococcal pneumonia were used for the identification of cases.

Fourteen patients received a first-time primary diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia in the time since CD diagnosis, as opposed to 42 in the reference group. The resulting incidence rates were 1.8 and 1.0 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, which suggested a modest difference in risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.82, 95 percent CI, 0.98–3.35).

When considering secondary diagnoses, 18 and 50 episodes of bacterial pneumonia were reported in the CD and reference groups, respectively. The difference in risk achieved statistical significance (HR, 1.94, 1.13–3.35). Excluding those who had received pneumococcal vaccinations attenuated this relationship (HR, 1.73, 0.89–3.37).

Pneumococcal pneumonia (HR, 2.50, 0.62–10.0) and pneumococcal infections (HR, 2.14, 0.55–8.29) were also more likely to occur in CD patients, though statistical significance was not achieved.

In comparison, 2.47 percent of the CD group had had a first-time hospital admission, with a principal diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia, prior to CD diagnosis, as opposed to only 1.48 percent of the reference group. The difference in risk was statistically significant (odds ratio, 1.86, 1.24–2.86). No such effect was reported for acquiring pneumococcal pneumonia or infections during this time period.

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