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BMC Infect Dis. 2011 May 20;11:139. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-139.

Blood culture status and mortality among patients with suspected community-acquired bacteremia: a population-based cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. mette.soegaard@rn.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Comparison of mortality among patients with positive and negative blood cultures may indicate the contribution of bacteremia to mortality. This study (1) compared mortality among patients with community-acquired bacteremia with mortality among patients with negative blood cultures and (2) determined the effects of bacteremia type and comorbidity level on mortality among patients with positive blood cultures.

METHODS:

This cohort study included 29,273 adults with blood cultures performed within the first 2 days following hospital admission to an internal medical ward in northern Denmark during 1995-2006. We computed product limit estimates and used Cox regression to compute adjusted mortality rate ratios (MRRs) within 0-2, 3-7, 8-30, and 31-180 days following admission for bacteremia patients compared to culture-negative patients.

RESULTS:

Mortality in 2,648 bacteremic patients and 26,625 culture-negative patients was 4.8% vs. 2.0% 0-2 days after admission, 3.7% vs. 2.7% 3-7 days after admission, 5.6% vs. 5.1% 8-30 days after admission, and 9.7% vs. 8.7% 31-180 days after admission, corresponding to adjusted MRRs of 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6-2.2), 1.1 (95% CI: 0.9-1.5), 0.9 (95% CI: 0.8-1.1), and 1.0 (95% CI: 0.8-1.1), respectively. Mortality was higher among patients with Gram-positive (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 1.9, 95% CI: 1.6-2.2) and polymicrobial bacteremia (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 3.5, 95% CI: 2.2-5.5) than among patients with Gram-negative bacteremia (adjusted 0-2-day MRR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-2.0). After the first 2 days, patients with Gram-negative bacteremia had the same risk of dying as culture-negative patients (adjusted MRR 0.8, 95% CI: 0.5-1.1). Only patients with polymicrobial bacteremia had increased mortality within 31-180 days following admission (adjusted MRR 1.3, 95% CI: 0.8-2.1) compared to culture-negative patients. The association between blood culture status and mortality did not differ substantially by level of comorbidity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Community-acquired bacteremia was associated with an increased risk of mortality in the first week of medical ward admission. Higher mortality among patients with Gram-positive and polymicrobial bacteremia compared with patients with Gram-negative bacteremia and negative cultures emphasizes the prognostic importance of these infections.

PMID:
21599971
PMCID:
PMC3128048
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2334-11-139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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