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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 13 (2006), Issue 6, Pages 317-324
Original Article

Factors Associated with Length of Stay in Hospital for Suspected Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Jane Q Huang,1,2 Peter M Hooper,2 and Thomas J Marrie1

1Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To determine factors associated with the length of stay (LOS) for patients with suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) who required hospitalization for treatment.

STUDY DESIGN: The authors studied a population-based prospective cohort of 2757 adults with suspected CAP who were admitted over a two-year period. Logistic regression, multiple linear regression, and classification and regression trees were used to determine the factors associated with LOS.

SETTING: The study was conducted in two community and tertiary care hospitals, two community and secondary care hospitals, and two community hospitals in the Capital Health Region of Edmonton, Alberta.

RESULTS: Symptoms such as sweats, shaking chills and wheezing were associated with an LOS of seven days or shorter, whereas weight loss, functional impairment, heart, renal or neoplastic diseases and time to first dose of antibiotic were predictive of an LOS greater than seven days. Regression tree analysis indicated that rapid achievement of physiological stability was associated with a shorter LOS. The use of an indwelling urinary catheter was found to be an important determinant of LOS.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study found several new associations with increased LOS in patients with CAP, including functional status, time to receipt of first dose of antibiotic therapy, use of certain antibiotics, presence of a urinary catheter and the importance of time to physiological stability. An intervention targeting avoidance of urinary catheters may be associated with a shorter LOS.