A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) provides a clearer picture of the risks of cardiovascular disease in the months—and even years—following hospitalization for pneumonia. The original investigation, published in the January 20, 2015 edition of JAMA, was senior-authored by Dr. Sachin Yende, Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Program, CRISMA Center. The study has since been reported in several news publications, including MedPage Today and U.S. News & World Report (via HealthDay).
Prior to this study, it was widely accepted that risk of cardiovascular disease was more prevalent in patients who had been hospitalized for pneumonia, especially in the first 30 to 90 days after their hospitalization. As Dr. Yende noted in MedPage Today, however, while “most people perceive flu or pneumonia to be an acute event…our study found that patients who got over the acute event still had an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.” Fortunately, preventive measures already exist in the form of influenza or pneumonia vaccines, which, according to Dr. Yende, “may not only prevent these infections, but may also prevent subsequent heart disease and stroke” (HealthDay).