Co-morbidities associated with influenza-attributed mortality, 1994-2000, Canada

Vaccine. 2008 Aug 26;26(36):4697-703. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.06.087. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


The elderly and persons with specific chronic conditions are known to face elevated morbidity and mortality risks resulting from an influenza infection, and hence are routinely recommended for annual influenza vaccination. However, risk-specific mortality rates have not been established. We estimated age-specific influenza-attributable mortality rates stratified by the presence of chronic conditions and type of residence based on deaths of persons who were admitted to hospital with a respiratory complication captured in our national database. The majority of patients had chronic heart or respiratory conditions (80%) and were admitted from the community (80%). Influenza-attributable mortality rates clearly increase with age for all risk groups. Our influenza-specific estimates identified higher risk ratios for chronic lung or heart disease than have been suggested by other methods. These estimates identify groups most in need of improved vaccines and for whom the use of additional strategies, such as immunization of household contacts or caregivers should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / complications*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / mortality*
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors