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The association of renin–angiotensin system blockades and pneumonia requiring admission in patients with COPD

Authors Kim J, Lee J, Heo EY, Chung HS, Kim DK

Received 12 January 2016

Accepted for publication 25 February 2016

Published 9 September 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 2159—2166


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Junghyun Kim,1 Jung-Kyu Lee,2 Eun Young Heo,2 Hee Soon Chung,2 Deog Kyeom Kim2

1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Background: The hallmark of COPD is chronic airway inflammation, which may be mediated by renin–angiotensin system. The renin–angiotensin system blockers such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have exhibited anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects in patients with various diseases. We explored the effects of ACEi and ARBs on the risk of pneumonia in patients with COPD.
Methods: A nested case–control study was performed on COPD patients recruited from January 2010 to August 2013 in two referral hospitals in Korea. A total of 130 COPD patients admitted with pneumonia were included, and 245 COPD patients without pneumonia were selected as controls from a total of 1,646 such patients. Controls were matched with test patients by age, sex, and severity of airflow limitation. The effects of ACEi/ARBs use on the odds ratio (OR) for the development of pneumonia were tested through conditional logistic regression.
Results: Elderly patients (over 70 years of age) constituted ~30% of each group; most of the patients were male (85%). Of the COPD patients with pneumonia, 21.5% had taken ACEi/ARBs for a mean of 9.8 months (standard deviation ±3.5 months). The proportions of ACEi/ARBs users and the mean duration of such use did not differ when compared to those of the control patients (26.9%, P=0.25; 9.6±3.6 months, P=0.83). Univariate analyses indicated that the use of ACEi/ARBs was not associated with a decreased risk of pneumonia (OR =0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.41–1.23, P=0.21), whereas both a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (OR =1.85, 95% confidence interval 1.12–3.06, P=0.02) and exposure to systemic steroids (OR =2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.28–4.23, P=0.005) did show an association. After adjustment for a history of tuberculosis, comorbid chronic renal disease, and exposure to corticosteroids, ACEi/ARBs reduced the risk of pneumonia in COPD patients (OR =0.51, 95% confidence interval 0.27–0.98, P=0.04).
Conclusion: This study revealed that the use of ACEi/ARBs was associated with reducing the risk of pneumonia in patients with COPD. Further prospective studies are necessary to confirm the protective effect of ACEi/ARBs and elucidate the underlying mechanisms in COPD patients.

Keywords: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonist, COPD, pneumonia

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