In contrast to the case fatality rate of patients diagnosed with meningococcal disease (MD) the long-term mortality in these patients is poorly documented.
We performed a nationwide, population-based cohort study including all Danish patients diagnosed with MD from 1977 through 2006 and alive one year after diagnosis. Data was retrieved from the Danish National Hospital Register, the Danish Civil Registration System and the Danish Register of Causes of Death. For each patient four age- and gender-matched individuals were identified from the population cohort. The siblings of the MD patients and of the individuals from the population cohort were identified. We constructed Kaplan-Meier survival curves and used Cox regression analysis, cumulative incidence function and subdistribution hazard regression to estimate mortality rate ratios (MRR) and analyze causes of death. We identified 4,909 MD patients, 19,636 individuals from the population cohort, 8,126 siblings of MD patients and 31,140 siblings of the individuals from the population cohort. The overall MRR for MD patients was 1.27 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12-1.45), adjusted MRR, 1.21 (95% CI, 1.06-1.37). MD was associated with increased risk of death due to nervous system diseases (MRR 3.57 (95% CI, 1.82-7.00). No increased mortality due to infections, neoplasms or cardiovascular diseases was observed. The MRR for siblings of MD patients compared with siblings of the individuals from the population cohort was 1.17 (95% CI, 0.92-1.48).
Patients surviving the acute phase of MD have increased long-term mortality, but the excess risk of death is small and stems mainly from nervous system diseases.
Cites: J Infect Dis. 2007 Jan 15;195(2):230-517191168