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Sepsis hospitalization and risk of subsequent cardiovascular events in adults: a population-based matched cohort study


Purpose — To determine whether surviving a first sepsis hospitalization is associated with long-term cardiovascular events.

Methods — Population-based matched cohort study conducted in Ontario, Canada (2008–2017). Adult survivors (older than 18 years) of a first sepsis hospitalization were matched to adult survivors of a non-sepsis hospitalization using hard-matching and propensity score methods. Patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease were excluded. The primary composite outcome was myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular death up to 5 years of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included venous thromboembolism and all-cause death. Cox proportional hazards models with robust standard errors were used to estimate the association of sepsis with all outcomes of interest; hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Sensitivity analyses included Fine and Gray models to account for the competing risk of all-cause death and probabilistic bias analyses.

Results — 254,241 adult sepsis survivors were matched to adult survivors of non-sepsis hospitalization episodes. Sepsis survivors experienced an increased hazard of major cardiovascular events compared to non-sepsis survivors (HR 1.30; 95% CI 1.27–1.32), which was more pronounced in younger patients (HR 1.66; 95% CI 1.36–2.02 for patients aged 40 or younger; HR 1.21; 95% CI 1.18–1.24 for patients older than 80 years). Sepsis survivors also faced an increased hazard of venous thromboembolism (HR 1.61; 95% CI 1.55–1.67) and all-cause death (HR 1.26; 95% CI 1.25–1.27). Sensitivity analyses yielded consistent results.

Conclusions — Adult sepsis survivors experience an increased hazard of major cardiovascular events compared to survivors of a non-sepsis hospitalization.



Angriman F, Rosella LC, Lawler PR, Ko DT, Wunsch H, Scales DC. Intensive Care Med. 2022; 48(4):448-57. Epub 2022 Feb 10.

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