The Maresme Study Group on Community-Acquired Pneumonia and COPD (GEMPAC, from its Catalan name Grup d'Estudi al Maresme de la Pneumònia Adquirida a la Comunitat i la MPOC) is a consolidated group recognised by the Agency for University Grants of the Generalitat of Catalunya (AGAUR). This group is physically located at the Maresme Health Consortium, which covers primary health care in the Maresme region and is centred in the Mataró Hospital and has a collaborative agreeement with the IGTP for research activities. The group has been led by Dr Jordi Almirall for more than 25 years and carries out epidemiological studies for lower tract respiratory infections; these studies are coordinated by the Mataró Hospital. Its researchers have made important contributions in the areas of incidence, microbiology, prognostic risk factors, costing, diagnostic errors and the value of inflammatory markers for the prediction of pneumonia and aetiological orientation.

The group has been awarded eight FIS grants in which different specialists have participated as principal investigators including family doctors, hospital specialists and house doctors, both from Mataró and other hospitals; nursing staff have also taken part. Since 2006 the group is a part of the CIBERES network, within the Group 14 led by Dr Antoni Torres from the Clinic Hospital Barcelona and Barcelona University for research into aetiology, prognostic risk factors associated with community acquired lower tract respiratory infections (LRTI).

GEMPAC researchers have also participated in as partners in European projects such as GRACE (Genomics to combat Resistance against Antibiotics in Community acquired LRTI in Europe) of the Sixth framework programme priority. Since 2012, they have participated in the European Network COMBACTE CLIN-Net and LAB net (Innovative Initiatives in Medicine) to carry out clinical trials with new antibiotics with the coordinators Dr H. Goossens (Antwerp) and Dr Harbarth (Geneva). The team is also currently part of the PREPARE project (Work Packages 3 and 5).

The group has eight contracts with pharmaceutical companies to carry out clinical trials. It has generated seven doctoral theses in recent years with another three currently in progress and has 40 international publications and 30 more in Spanish journals with a total impact factor of 204.

Keywords: Community health, pnuemonia, COPD.

Research lines

Population study on acute COPD

Community study of diagnostic error for COPD, study of incidence of exacerbation of COPD, case-controlled study of risk factors for acute-prone phenotypes with the importance of oral hygiene, disphagia, diet (antioxidants and vitamin D levels).

Study of risk factors for pneumonia in respiratory patients (asthma and COPD)

Community study of risk factors for pneumonia in asthmatic patients with COPD and the importance of the use of broncodilatotors and oral hygiene. Study of the impact of biological markers and immunoglobulins in prognosis of communty-acquired pneumonia.

Study of infectious comorbidity in patients admitted to hospital for acute COPD

Study of the prevalence of infections in patients admitted to hospital for acute COPD for Clostridium difficille microbacteria infections and the impact of the flu epidemic.

Study of risk factors for community acquired pneumonia

Study of risk factors for community-acquired pneumonia such as treatment with Benzodiazepine, dysphagia, oral hygiene, occupation, etc.

Scientific publications

Boixeda R, Moreno MI, Bartolomé M, Juanola J; en nombre del grupo GEMPOC. Incidencia de agudizaciones en la EPOC: estudio INAMPOC. Importancia del error diagnóstico. Aten Primaria. 2022 Aug;54(8):102389. Spanish. DOI: 10.1016/j.aprim.2022.102389. PMID: 35691216; PMCID: PMC9218284.

Fernández Fernández EP, Almirall J, Pere T, Roca J, Boixeda R. Correlation between C reactive protein in capillary blood and in venous blood in lower respiratory tract infections. Aten Primaria. 2022 Mar;54(3):102210. DOI: 10.1016/j.aprim.2021.102210. PMID: 35033851; PMCID: PMC8762367.

Jordi Almirall’s publications (previous group leader)