To explore the association between cough strength and outcomes in elderly patients who received noninvasive ventilation (NIV) due to acute respiratory failure caused by pneumonia.Materials and methods:
We enrolled patients ≥65 years old with acute respiratory failure caused by pneumonia. Just before NIV treatment, cough strength was assessed on a cough-strength scale graded from 0 to 5. Patients graded 0–2 were defined as having no/weak coughs and those graded 3–5 were defined as having moderate/strong coughs.Results:
We enrolled 349 patients in this study. The prevalence of no/weak cough was 24% (84/349). Moderate/strong cough patients had lower NIV failure (92/265 [34.7%] vs. 67/84 [79.8%], p < 0.01) and lower hospital mortality (85/265 [32.1%] vs. 60/84 [71.4%], p < 0.01) than no/weak cough patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, we also found that no/weak cough was an independent risk factor for NIV failure (odds ratio = 13.83, 95% confidence interval: 6.01–31.81) and death in hospital (odds ratio = 4.41, 95% confidence interval: 2.49–7.81).Conclusions:
In pneumonia patients ≥65 years old, no/weak cough is associated with NIV failure and death in hospital. NIV must be used only with caution in no/weak cough patients.