Objective: To determine whether inflammatory and hemostasis response in patients hospitalized for pneumonia varies by age and whether these differences explain higher mortality in the elderly. Methods: In an observational cohort of subjects with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) recruited from emergency departments (ED) in 28 hospitals, we divided subjects into 5 age groups (<50, 51-64, 65-74, 75-84, and ≥85). We measured circulating levels of inflammatory (TNF, IL-6, and IL-10), hemostasis (D-dimer, Factor IX, thrombin-antithrombin complex, antithrombin and plasminogen-activator inhibitor-1), and cell-surface markers (TLR-2, TLR-4, and HLA-DR) during the first week of hospitalization and at discharge and compared 90-day mortality. We used logistic regression to compare odds ratios (OR) for 90-day mortality between age groups, adjusting for differences in pre-infection factors alone and then additionally adjusting for immune markers. Results: Of 2,183 subjects, 495, 444, 403, 583, and 258 subjects were <50, 51-64, 65-74, 75-84, and ≥85 years of age, respectively. Large age-related differences were observed in 90-day mortality (0.82% vs. 3.2% vs. 6.4% vs. 12.8% vs. 13.6%, p<0.01). No age-related differences in inflammatory and cell surface markers occurred during the first week. Older subjects had higher pro-coagulant markers on ED presentation and over first week (p≤0.03), but these differences were modest (1.0-1.7-fold differences). Odds of death for older adults changed minimally in models incorporating differences in hemostasis and inflammatory markers (for subjects ≥85 compared to those <50, OR = 4.36, when adjusted for pre-infection factors and OR = 3.49 when additionally adjusted for hemostasis markers). At discharge, despite clinical recovery as evidenced by normal vital signs in >85% subjects, older subjects had modestly increased hemostasis markers and IL-6 levels (p,0.01). Conclusions: Modest age-related increases in coagulation response occur during hospitalization for CAP; however these differences do not explain the large differences in mortality. Despite clinical recovery, immune resolution may be delayed in older adults at discharge.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)