Community-acquired pneumonia is more likely to develop in diabetes patients with higher mortality rates. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a type of pneumonia commonly contracted in the community, meaning it occurs outside of hospital or extended healthcare facilities.
Pneumonia is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. despite the availability of treatments and preventative measures. Prevalence of community-acquired pneumonia ranges from four to five million cases annually, with roughly 25 percent of cases requiring hospitalization.
The best way to prevent community-acquired pneumonia is by getting vaccinated annually for influenza, and if you are over the age of 60 receiving the pneumonia vaccination. Proper hygiene can also reduce your risk of contracting pneumonia, along with avoiding those who are sick and steering clear of others when you are sick to reduce the spread of the illness.
Related Reading: Is Pneumonia Contagious?
Diabetes patients have been found to be more likely to develop community-acquired pneumonia. Lead researcher Madalena Martins along with colleagues wrote, “In line with studies that suggest that patients with [diabetes] are at higher risk for [community-acquired pneumonia], we observed that the [diabetes] prevalence in [community-acquired pneumonia] admissions between 2009 and 2012 was consistently higher, and more than double, when compared to the estimations of the [diabetes] prevalence in Portugal.”
The researchers conducted a retrospective, nationwide register analysis where they looked at data from 74,175 adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Researchers also looked for a diagnosis of diabetes among the patients and compared rates of community-acquired pneumonia with diabetes.
Of the cohort, 19,212 had diabetes, and the researchers found that diabetes patients with CAP had extended hospital stays, compared to pneumonia patients without diabetes. Hospital mortality was also higher among diabetics, compared to those without diabetes.
The researchers wrote, “Interestingly, the prevalence of diabetes among [community-acquired pneumonia] admissions was higher in women than in men (25.1 percent vs. 22.8 percent), as opposed to what is observed in the general population (10.2 percent vs. 14.6 percent), suggesting a higher risk of women with [diabetes] to develop [community-acquired pneumonia] infections.”
Diabetes patients should be identified as a high-risk group when they are admitted into hospitals with pneumonia, the researchers recommended.
To diagnose community-acquired pneumonia, your doctor will recommend a chest X-ray, as well as testing for other ailments that could result in similar symptoms (heart failure, for example). Pathogen identification can be done through blood cultures test, sputum testing, sputum samples, urine tests, and the pneumococcal antigen test, which is recommended for patients who are severely ill, have had unsuccessful outpatient antibiotic treatment, or who have pleural effusion, active alcohol abuse, severe liver disease, or asplenia. This test is especially useful if adequate sputum samples or blood cultures were not obtained before initiation of antibiotic therapy.
Common treatment for CAP involves antibiotics, antivirals, and supportive measures, such as fluids, antipyretics, analgesics, and oxygen for certain patients.
By practicing the prevention tips listed above, you can reduce your risk of pneumonia.
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