BACKGROUND: We estimated rates of influenza-associated deaths and hospitalizations in Argentina, a country that recommends annual influenza vaccination for persons at high risk of complications from influenza illness.
METHODS: We identified hospitalized persons and deaths in persons diagnosed with pneumonia and influenza (P&I, ICD-10 codes J10-J18) and respiratory and circulatory illness (R&C, codes I00-I99 and J00-J99). We defined the influenza season as the months when the proportion of samples that tested positive for influenza exceeded the annual median. We used hospitalizations and deaths during the influenza off-season to estimate, using linear regression, the number of excess deaths that occurred during the influenza season. To explore whether excess mortality varied by sex and whether people were age <65 or ≥ 65 years, we used Poisson regression of the influenza-associated rates.
RESULTS: During 2002-2009, 2411 P&I and 8527 R&C mean excess deaths occurred annually from May to October. If all of these excess deaths were associated with influenza, the influenza-associated mortality rate was 6/100,000 person-years (95% CI 4-8/100,000 person-years for P&I and 21/100,000 person-years (95% CI 12-31/100,000 person-years) for R&C. During 2005-2008, we identified an average of 7868 P&I excess hospitalizations and 22,994 R&C hospitalizations per year, resulting in an influenza-associated hospitalization rate of 2/10,000 person-years (95% CI 1-3/10,000 person-years) for P&I and 6/10,000 person-years (95% CI 3-8/10,000 person-years) for R&C.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that annual rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations and death in Argentina were substantial and similar to neighboring Brazil.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
- Influenza, Human/epidemiology