Background: The H1N1 influenza pandemic strain has been associated with a poor prognosis in hospitalized patients. The present report evaluates the factors influencing prognosis.
Methods: A total of 813 patients hospitalized with H1N1 influenza in 36 hospitals (nationwide) in Spain were analysed. Detailed histories of variables preceding hospital admission were obtained by interview, validating data on medications and vaccine with their attending physicians. Data on treatment and complications during hospital stay were recorded. As definition of poor outcome, the endpoints of death and admission to intensive care were combined; and as a further outcome, length of stay was used.
Results: The mean age was 38.5 years (SD 22.8 years). There were 10 deaths and 79 admissions to intensive care (combined, 88). The use of neuraminidase inhibitors was reported by 495 patients (60.9%). The variables significantly associated with a poor outcome were diabetes (OR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.21-4.02), corticosteroid therapy (OR = 3.37, 95% CI = 1.39-8.20) and use of histamine-2 receptor antagonists (OR = 2.68, 95% CI = 1.14-6.36), while the use of neuraminidase inhibitors (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.34-0.94) was protective. Neuraminidase inhibitors within the first 2 days after the influenza onset reduced hospital stay by a mean of 1.9 days (95% CI = 4.7-6.6).
Conclusions: The use of neuraminidase inhibitors decreases the length of hospital stay and admission to intensive care and/or death.