Researchers have found that patients with coeliac disease are at high risk of acquiring pneumonia if they haven't received the pneumococcal vaccine.
When comparing 9803 patients with coeliac disease and 101,755 controls, the rate of pneumonia was similar; however, there was a 28% increased risk of pneumonia in coeliac disease patients who were unvaccinated compared with unvaccinated controls. This increased risk was limited to those younger than 65, was highest around the time of diagnosis of coeliac disease, and was maintained for more than 5 years after diagnosis. Only 26.6% of patients in the study underwent vaccination after their coeliac disease diagnosis.
"As only a minority of patients with coeliac disease are being vaccinated there is a missed opportunity to intervene to protect these patients from pneumonia," wrote the authors of the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics study.