Researchers have found that patients with celiac disease are at high risk of acquiring pneumonia if they haven't received the pneumococcal vaccine. When comparing 9,803 patients with celiac disease and 101,755 controls, the rate of pneumonia was similar; however, there was a 28 percent increased risk of pneumonia in celiac 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 celiac disease, and was maintained for more than five years after diagnosis. Only 26.6 percent of patients in the study underwent vaccination after their celiac disease diagnosis.
"As only a minority of patients with celiac 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.