(HealthDay News) — Older patients hospitalized with pneumonia appear to have an increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke or death from coronary heart disease (CHD) for years afterward, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sachin Yende, MD, an associate professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues collected data from 5,888 people aged 65 years and older who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study and on 15,792 people aged 45 to 64 years who enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

Over 10 years of follow-up, of 591 people in the cardiovascular (CV) study hospitalized with pneumonia, 206 had an MI, a stroke or died from CHD. Of 680 pneumonia cases among those in the atherosclerosis study, 112 had a MI, a stroke or died from CHD. 

Risk was highest in the first month after pneumonia — four-fold — but remained 1.5 times higher over subsequent years, the researchers found.

“The risk of heart disease or stroke with pneumonia was similar to the risk seen for other known risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoking,” Yende told HealthDay.


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