The burden of influenza in England by age and clinical risk group: A statistical analysis to inform vaccine policy.

Cromer, D; van Hoek, AJ; Jit, M; Edmunds, WJ; Fleming, D; Miller, E; (2013) The burden of influenza in England by age and clinical risk group: A statistical analysis to inform vaccine policy. The Journal of infection. ISSN 0163-4453 DOI:

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OBJECTIVES To assess the burden of influenza by age and clinical status and use this to inform evaluations of the age and risk-based influenza vaccination policy in the United Kingdom. METHODS Weekly laboratory reports for influenza and 7 other respiratory pathogens were extracted from the national database and used in a regression model to estimate the proportion of acute respiratory illness outcomes attributable to each pathogen. RESULTS Influenza accounted for ∼10% of the attributed respiratory admissions and deaths in hospital. Healthy children under five had the highest influenza admission rate (1.9/1000). The presence of co-morbidities increased the admission rate by 5.7 fold for 5-14 year olds (from 0.1 to 0.56/1000), the relative risk declining to 1.8 fold in 65+ year olds (from 0.46 to 0.84/1000). The majority (72%) of influenza-attributable deaths in hospital occurred in 65+ year olds with co-morbidities. Mortality in children under 15 years was low with around 12 influenza-attributable deaths in hospital per year in England; the case fatality rate was substantially higher in risk than non-risk children. Infants under 6 months had the highest consultation and admission rates, around 70/1000 and 3/1000 respectively. CONCLUSIONS Additional strategies are needed to reduce the remaining morbidity and mortality in the high-risk and elderly populations, and to protect healthy children currently not offered the benefits of vaccination.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 24291062
Web of Science ID: 332769800008


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