Background The study aimed to assess whether gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms at admission are associated with increased short-term mortality in patients with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Methods We included all patients with IPD at Aker University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, from 1993 to 2008. Clinical data were registered. Survival data were retrieved from official registries. We used Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier curve to compare mortality within 28 days of admission in patients with and without GI symptoms. Results Four hundred sixteen patients were included. Of these, 108 patients (26%) presented with GI symptoms, and 47 patients (11%) with GI symptoms only. Patients with GI symptoms were younger (p < 0.001) and had less cardiovascular disease (p < 0.001), pulmonary disease (p = 0.048), and cancer (p = 0.035) and received appropriate antibiotic treatment later. After adjusting for risk factors, we found an increased hazard ratio of 2.28 (95% CI 1.31–3.97) in patients presenting with GI symptoms. In patients with GI symptoms only there was an increased hazard ratio of 2.24 (95% CI 1.20–4.19) in univariate analysis, which increased to 4.20 (95% CI 2.11–8.39) after multivariate adjustment. Fewer patients with GI symptoms only received antibiotics upon admission. Conclusions A large proportion of IPD patients present with GI symptoms only or in combination with other symptoms. GI symptoms in IPD are associated with increased short-term mortality.
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