Excess pneumonia and influenza associated hospitalization during influenza epidemics in the United States, 1970-78

Am J Public Health. 1986 Jul;76(7):761-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.76.7.761.


In this study, excess rates of pneumonia and influenza (P&I) associated hospitalization during influenza A epidemics which occurred in the United States between 1970-78 were computed utilizing unpublished data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS). Excesses occurred at rates of 35, 93, and 370 per 100,000 persons per epidemic for age groups 15-44, 45-64, and 65+ years. There was no evidence of a persisting excess or a compensatory decline in P&I hospitalization during post-epidemic months. An average excess of about 172,000 hospitalizations per epidemic at a cost in excess of $300 million was computed. The study quantifies a major impact of epidemic influenza upon health and health services, much of which may be preventable, and illustrates an important use of unpublished data contained in the NHDS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Length of Stay
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • United States