The health and economic burden of respiratory syncytial virus associated hospitalizations in adults
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The health and economic burden of respiratory syncytial virus associated hospitalizations in adults

  • Published Date:

    June 11 2020

  • Source:
    PLoS One. 2020; 15(6)
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  • Alternative Title:
    PLoS One
  • Description:
    Background Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is increasingly recognized as an important cause of illness in adults; however, data on RSV disease and economic burden in this age group remain limited. We aimed to provide comprehensive estimates of RSV disease burden among adults aged ≥18 years. Methods During 2012–2015, population-based, active surveillance of acute respiratory infection (ARI) hospitalizations enabled estimation of the seasonal incidence of RSV hospitalizations and direct health costs in adults aged ≥18 years in Auckland, New Zealand. Results Of 4,600 ARI hospitalizations tested for RSV, 348 (7.6%) were RSV positive. The median (interquartile range) length of hospital stay for RSV positive patients was 4 (2–6) days. The seasonal incidence rate (IR) of RSV hospitalizations, corrected for non-testing, was 23.6 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 21.0–26.1) per 100,000 adults aged ≥18 years. Hospitalization risk increased with age with the highest incidence among adults aged ≥80 years (IR 190.8 per 100,000, 95% CI 137.6–244.0). Being of Māori or Pacific ethnicity or living in a neighborhood with low socioeconomic status (SES) were independently associated with increased RSV hospitalization rates. We estimate RSV-associated hospitalizations among adults aged ≥18 years to cost on average NZD $4,758 per event. Conclusions RSV infection is associated with considerable disease and economic cost in adults. RSV disproportionally affects adult sub-groups defined by age, ethnicity, and neighborhood SES. An effective RSV vaccine or RSV treatment may offer benefits for older adults.
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