Preemies May Have Greater Influenza-Related Complication Risk as Children

the MPR take:

A new review in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine suggests that prematurity could be a new strong risk factor for influenza-related complications in children. From the 27 studies on 14,086 children, strong risk factors for hospital admission due to influenza-related complications were neurological disorders (univariable odds ratio [OR] 4.62, 95% CI 2.82–7.55), prematurity (4.33, 2.47–7.58), sickle cell disease (3.46, 1.63–7.37), immunosuppression (2.39, 1.24–4.61), diabetes (2.34, 1.20–4.58), and <2 years of age (2.51, 1.71–3.69). Reactive airways disease including asthma (1.36, 0.82–2.26) and obesity (0.99, 0.61–1.62) were not found to be risk factors; children with more than one risk factor had a higher risk of hospital admission vs. those with just one risk factor. The authors conclude that interventions to prevent these complications should be prioritized among these groups, particularly for those with more than one risk factor or severe underlying comorbidities.

Background: Interventions to prevent influenza-related complications are recommended for individuals at the greatest risk of serious clinical deterioration. However, guidelines are based on consensus opinion rather than evidence, and do not specify risk factors in children. We aimed to provide an evidence-based definition of children who are most at risk of such complications.

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