HealthDay News —  For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) hospitalization, influenza vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in influenza-related hospitalization, according to a study published online Jan. 4 in CHEST.

Sunita Mulpuru, MD, from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from a national, prospective, multicenter cohort study involving patients with COPD hospitalized between 2011 and 2015. Patients received nasopharyngeal swabs that were tested for influenza. Data were analyzed for 4198 hospitalized COPD patients with known vaccination status.

The researchers found that vaccinated vs unvaccinated individuals had a 38% reduction in influenza-related hospitalizations. Compared with influenza-negative patients, patients positive for influenza (38.5%) experienced significantly higher crude mortality (9.7 vs 7.9%) and critical illness (17.2 vs 12.1%). In influenza-positive patients, risk factors for mortality included age >75 years, cardiac comorbidity, residence in long-term care, and home oxygen use (odds ratios, 3.7 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.4 to 30.3], 2.0 [95% CI, 1.3 to 3.2], 2.6 [95% CI, 1.5 to 4.5], and 2.9 [95% CI, 1.6 to 5.1], respectively).

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“Future research should focus on knowledge translation interventions to increase and sustain vaccine uptake in this highly vulnerable population, and should explore the value of nonvaccine strategies for influenza prevention in highest risk populations,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry; GlaxoSmithKline Biological SA partially funded the study.

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