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      Hospitalizations for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Among Adults in the United States, 1997–2012

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          Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an established cause of serious lower respiratory disease in children, but the burden in adults is less well studied.


          We conducted a retrospective study of hospitalizations among adults ≥20 years from the 1997–2012 National Inpatient Sample. Trends in RSV admissions were described relative to unspecified viral pneumonia admissions. Hospitalization severity indicators were compared among immunocompromised RSV, non-immunocompromised RSV, and influenza admissions.


          An estimated 28237 adult RSV hospitalizations occurred, compared with 652818 influenza hospitalizations; 34% were immunocompromised individuals. Respiratory syncytial virus and influenza patients had similar age, gender, and race distributions, but RSV was more often diagnosed in urban teaching hospitals (73.0% for RSV vs 34.6% for influenza) and large hospitals (71.9% vs 56.4%). Respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization rates increased from 1997 to 2012, particularly for those ≥60, increasing from 0.5 to 4.6 per 100000, whereas unspecified pneumonia admission rates decreased significantly ( P < .001). Immunocompromised patients with RSV hospitalization had significantly higher inpatient mortality ( P = .013), use of mechanical ventilation ( P = .016), mean length of stay (LOS) ( P < .001), and mean cost ( P < .001) than non-immunocompromised RSV hospitalizations. Overall, RSV hospitalizations were more severe than influenza hospitalizations (6.2% mortality for RSV vs 3.0% for influenza, 16.7% vs 7.2% mechanical ventilation, mean LOS of 6.0 vs 3.6 days, and mean cost of $38828 vs $14519).


          Respiratory syncytial virus hospitalizations in adults are increasing, likely due to increasing recognition and diagnosis. The burden of RSV in adults deserves attention. Although there are fewer hospitalizations than influenza, those that are diagnosed are on average more severe.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Respiratory syncytial virus infection in adults.

          Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is now recognized as a significant problem in certain adult populations. These include the elderly, persons with cardiopulmonary diseases, and immunocompromised hosts. Epidemiological evidence indicates that the impact of RSV in older adults may be similar to that of nonpandemic influenza. In addition, RSV has been found to cause 2 to 5% of adult community-acquired pneumonias. Attack rates in nursing homes are approximately 5 to 10% per year, with significant rates of pneumonia (10 to 20%) and death (2 to 5%). Clinical features may be difficult to distinguish from those of influenza but include nasal congestion, cough, wheezing, and low-grade fever. Bone marrow transplant patients prior to marrow engraftment are at highest risk for pneumonia and death. Diagnosis of RSV infection in adults is difficult because viral culture and antigen detection are insensitive, presumably due to low viral titers in nasal secretions, but early bronchoscopy is valuable in immunosuppressed patients. Treatment of RSV in the elderly is largely supportive, whereas early therapy with ribavirin and intravenous gamma globulin is associated with improved survival in immunocompromised persons. An effective RSV vaccine has not yet been developed, and thus prevention of RSV infection is limited to standard infection control practices such as hand washing and the use of gowns and gloves.
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            Acute viral infections of upper respiratory tract in elderly people living in the community: comparative, prospective, population based study of disease burden.

            To evaluate the disease burden of upper respiratory infections in elderly people living at home. Prospective surveillance of elderly people. None. Leicestershire, England 533 subjects 60 to 90 years of age. Pathogens, symptoms, restriction of activity, duration of illness, medical consultations, interval between onset of illness and medical consultation, antibiotic use, admission to hospital, and death. 231 pathogens were identified for 211 (43%) of 497 episodes for which diagnostic specimens were available: 121 (52%) were rhinoviruses, 59 (26%) were coronaviruses, 22 (9.5%) were influenza A or B, 17 (7%) were respiratory syncytial virus, 7 (3%) were parainfluenza viruses, and 3 (1%) were Chlamydia species; an adenovirus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae caused one infection each. Infections occurred at a rate of 1.2 episodes per person per annum (95% confidence interval 1.0 to 1.7; range 0-10) and were clinically indistinguishable. Lower respiratory tract symptoms complicated 65% of upper respiratory infections and increased the medical consultation rate 2.4-fold (chi 2 test P < 0.001). The median interval between onset of illness and medical consultation was 3 days for influenza and 5 days for other infections. Rhinoviruses caused the greatest disease burden overall followed by episodes of unknown aetiology, coronaviruses, influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus. Respiratory viruses cause substantial morbidity in elderly people. Although respiratory syncytial virus and influenza cause considerable individual morbidity, the burden of disease from rhinovirus infections and infections of unknown aetiology seems greater overall. The interval between onset of illness and consultation together with diagnostic difficulties raises concern regarding the role of antiviral drugs in treating influenza.
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              Rates of hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, and influenza virus in older adults.

              We performed a prospective study to determine the disease burden of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) in older adults in comparison with influenza virus. During 3 consecutive winters, we enrolled Davidson County (Nashville, TN) residents aged ≥ 50 years admitted to 1 of 4 hospitals with acute respiratory illness (ARI). Nasal/throat swabs were tested for influenza, RSV, and HMPV with reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Hospitalization rates were calculated. Of 1042 eligible patients, 508 consented to testing. Respiratory syncytial virus was detected in 31 participants (6.1%); HMPV was detected in 23 (4.5%) patients; and influenza was detected in 33 (6.5%) patients. Of those subjects aged ≥ 65 years, 78% received influenza vaccination. Compared with patients with confirmed influenza, patients with RSV were older and more immunocompromised; patients with HMPV were older, had more cardiovascular disease, were more likely to have received the influenza vaccination, and were less likely to report fever than those with influenza. Over 3 years, average annual rates of hospitalization were 15.01, 9.82, and 11.81 per 10,000 county residents due to RSV, HMPV, and influenza, respectively. In adults aged ≥ 50 years, hospitalization rates for RSV and HMPV were similar to those associated with influenza.

                Author and article information

                Open Forum Infect Dis
                Open Forum Infect Dis
                Open Forum Infectious Diseases
                Oxford University Press (US )
                Winter 2017
                09 January 2017
                09 January 2017
                : 4
                : 1
                [1 ]Epidstat Institute , Ann Arbor, Michigan;
                [2 ]AstraZeneca/Medimmune , Gaithersburg, Maryland
                Author notes

                Correspondence: S. T. Pastula, MPH, Epidstat Institute, 2100 Commonwealth, Suite 203, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 ( sue@ 123456epidstat.com ).

                © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 7
                Funded by: AstraZeneca http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004325
                Major Article

                respiratory syncytial virus., adult, hospitalizations


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