Clinical and socioeconomic impact of seasonal and pandemic influenza in adults and the elderly

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Jan;8(1):21-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.8.1.17622. Epub 2012 Jan 1.


Influenza epidemics and pandemics carry a heavy socioeconomic burden. Hospitalization and treatment are more often necessary in high-risk patients, such as the elderly. However, the impact of influenza is not negligible even in adults, mainly because of lost productivity. The World Health Organization estimates that seasonal influenza causes 250,000-500,000 deaths worldwide each year; however, mortality may be very high in pandemic periods. Many estimates of the costs of seasonal influenza have been made in various socioeconomic contexts. For instance, among the adult population in Italy, a cost of €940.39 per case has been estimated. In the US, the average annual influenza burden in 18-49-y-old adults without underlying medical conditions is judged to include approximately 32,000 hospitalizations and 680 deaths. Estimating the influenza burden is a useful aid to determining the best influenza vaccination strategy and preventive and clinical treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / economics*
  • Influenza Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Influenza, Human / economics*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / mortality*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology
  • Pandemics*
  • Seasons*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vaccination / economics
  • Young Adult


  • Influenza Vaccines