The systemic inflammatory response (SIR) may help to predict clinical progression, treatment failure, and prognosis in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Exposure to tobacco smoke may affect the SIR; the role of smoking in CAP has not been consolidated. We evaluated the SIR and outcomes of hospitalized CAP patients stratified by smoking habits and the presence of COPD. This retrospective analysis was conducted at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. Baseline, clinical, microbiological, and laboratory variables were collected at admission, using C-reactive protein (CRP) levels as a marker of SIR. The study outcomes were pleural complications, hospital stay, non-invasive and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. We also considered the in-hospital and 30-day mortality. Data were grouped by smoking habit (non-, former-, and current-smokers) and the presence of COPD. Current smokers were younger, had fewer comorbidities, and fewer previous pneumonia episodes. CRP levels were higher in current smokers than in other groups. Current smokers had a higher risk of pleural complications independent of CRP levels, the presence of pleuritic pain, and a higher platelet count. Current smokers more often required IMV and ICU admission. Current smokers have a greater inflammatory response and are at increased risk of pleural complications.
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