Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31197. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031197. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Comparing pandemic to seasonal influenza mortality: moderate impact overall but high mortality in young children.

Author information

  • 1National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Center for Infectious Disease Control, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We assessed the severity of the 2009 influenza pandemic by comparing pandemic mortality to seasonal influenza mortality. However, reported pandemic deaths were laboratory-confirmed - and thus an underestimation - whereas seasonal influenza mortality is often more inclusively estimated. For a valid comparison, our study used the same statistical methodology and data types to estimate pandemic and seasonal influenza mortality.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

We used data on all-cause mortality (1999-2010, 100% coverage, 16.5 million Dutch population) and influenza-like-illness (ILI) incidence (0.8% coverage). Data was aggregated by week and age category. Using generalized estimating equation regression models, we attributed mortality to influenza by associating mortality with ILI-incidence, while adjusting for annual shifts in association. We also adjusted for respiratory syncytial virus, hot/cold weather, other seasonal factors and autocorrelation. For the 2009 pandemic season, we estimated 612 (range 266-958) influenza-attributed deaths; for seasonal influenza 1,956 (range 0-3,990). 15,845 years-of-life-lost were estimated for the pandemic; for an average seasonal epidemic 17,908. For 0-4 yrs of age the number of influenza-attributed deaths during the pandemic were higher than in any seasonal epidemic; 77 deaths (range 61-93) compared to 16 deaths (range 0-45). The ≥75 yrs of age showed a far below average number of deaths. Using pneumonia/influenza and respiratory/cardiovascular instead of all-cause deaths consistently resulted in relatively low total pandemic mortality, combined with high impact in the youngest age category.

CONCLUSION:

The pandemic had an overall moderate impact on mortality compared to 10 preceding seasonal epidemics, with higher mortality in young children and low mortality in the elderly. This resulted in a total number of pandemic deaths far below the average for seasonal influenza, and a total number of years-of-life-lost somewhat below average. Comparing pandemic and seasonal influenza mortality as in our study will help assessing the worldwide impact of the 2009 pandemic.

PMID:
22319616
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3272034
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk