Thursday , February 25 2021

Children with chronic lung diseases at higher risk for influenza hospitalization

Efforts to prevent children with chronic lung disease from being hospitalized with influenza need to be intensified after high rates of influenza hospitalization in these children.

This is one of the recommendations of a UNSW study that found that children with underlying lung conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and other chronic congenital conditions are at least five times more likely to be hospitalized for influenza than others children.

The study, which analyzed a cohort of 11,058 children with chronic lung diseases residing in NSW, found that not only children with chronic lung disease are at substantially greater risk of hospitalization for influenza, but the average cost of these hospitalizations is almost four times higher. expensive.

The cost per episode of influenza-associated hospitalization was $ 19,704 for children with chronic lung disease compared to $ 4557 for children without chronic lung disease.

In addition, 13% of children with chronic lung disease hospitalized with influenza required referral to another hospital for continuous care compared to 7% without.

Study author Dr. Nusrat Homaira of the UNSW School of Women's and Children's Health says that while influenza vaccination is free for children with chronic lung diseases, unpublished data suggest that absorption is low and more accurate to do to encourage parents of children with the condition to enjoy the service.

"Influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease and Australian children with chronic lung disease are entitled to vaccination against influenza," says Homaira.

"However, acceptance – particularly in children with asthma – is reported to be very low. Our research suggests that current efforts to prevent influenza in children with chronic lung conditions are either suboptimal or ineffective. "

Dr Homaira and his coauthors say an immediate first step is to conduct more research on vaccine efficacy in these children and look for ways to improve vaccine uptake.

"Flu vaccination is highly recommended for children with chronic lung disease and the vaccine should be repeated every year for these children," says Homaira.

The research work was published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus.

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