A study of hospital admission for severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) in military personnel found that recent flu vaccination lowered the risk of severe disease, while occupational factors and comorbidities may increase SARI risk, according to findings yesterday in Vaccine.
An international team of researchers evaluated data on 11,086 hospitalizations due to pneumonia or influenza from 2000 through 2012 among US military personnel. Hospitalized people had a median age of 32 and were largely male (89.5%).
Chronic disease was also associated with developing SARI following hospitalization. Comorbidities with the highest risk of progression toward severe disease included chronic renal or liver disease; circulatory system disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Under multivariate analysis, factors still significant for risk of severe disease included renal and liver disease, circulatory disease, and service in the Coast Guard or Air Force. Investigators cautioned, however, that risk associated with service branch may simply reflect differences in data reporting rather than physiologic risk.