The commonly used vaccine for adults with a high risk of pneumonia is 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). However, its effectiveness in patients with colorectal cancer has not been investigated. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of PPSV23 in reducing the risk of pneumonia among elderly patients with colorectal cancer.A total of 120,605 newly diagnosed patients with colorectal cancer were identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 1996 and 2010. Of these patients, 18,468 were 75 years or older in 2007 to 2010, and 3515 received PPSV23. People aged 75 years or older have been considered eligible for receiving PPSV23 vaccination in Taiwan since 2007. The specific "vaccination period" of October 2008 to December 2008 was used to minimize the potential immortal time bias. Therefore, 893 patients who received PPSV23 outside this vaccination period or died before 2009 and 2960 unvaccinated patients who died before 2009 were excluded. After the propensity score was matched with a 1:3 ratio, 2622 vaccinated patients and 7866 unvaccinated patients were recruited. A multivariate log-linear Poisson regression model was performed and adjusted for potential confounders, including influenza vaccination, vaccination period, cancer treatment modalities, comorbidities, and sociodemographic variables.After 2 years of follow-up, the incidence rate of the pneumonia hospitalization of the vaccinated patients was significantly lower than that of the unvaccinated patients at 85.53 per 1000 person-years (PYs) of the former and 92.38 per 1000 PYs of the latter. The proportions of patients who had 2, 3, and >3 pneumonia hospitalizations per year were consistently lower in the vaccinated group than in the unvaccinated group (1.9% vs 2.0%, 0.5% vs 0.9%, and 0.7% vs 1.1%, respectively). After adjustment for covariates was made, PPSV23 vaccine was significantly associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia hospitalization, with an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 0.88 (P=.040). The overall pneumonia-free survival rate was also significantly higher in the vaccinated patients than in the unvaccinated patients (P=.001).PPSV23 vaccination was associated with a significantly reduced rate of pneumonia hospitalization in elderly patients with colorectal cancer.
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