Objectives: We compared comorbidity measures by age group and risk factors for influenza-like illness (ILI)-related intensive care unit (ICU) stay during the 2009 seasonal influenza and influenza A (pH1N1) pandemic.
Methods: We identified all patients discharged from Massachusetts hospitals with ILI-related diagnoses between October 1, 2008, and April 25, 2009, and pH1N1-related diagnoses between April 26 and September 30, 2009. We calculated the Diagnostic Cost Group (DxCG) risk score as a measure of comorbidity. We used logistic regression predictive models to compare ICU stay predictors.
Results: Mean DxCG scores were similar for pH1N1 and seasonal influenza time periods (0.69 and 0.70). Compared with those aged 45 to 64 years, patients younger than 5, 5 to 12, and 13 to 18 years had an increased risk of pH1N1-related ICU stay. Within the pH1N1 cohort, an asthma diagnosis was highly predictive of ICU admission among those younger than 5, 5 to 12, and 13 to 18 years, and pregnancy among those aged 26 to 44 years.
Conclusion: High-risk groups, including children with asthma or pregnant women, would benefit from improved surveillance and resource allocation during influenza outbreaks to prevent serious ILI-related complications.