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Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1174-8. Epub 2006 Apr 20.

Interactions of viral pathogens on hospital admissions for pneumonia, croup and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases: results of a multivariate time-series analysis.

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Primary Care Research Unit, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Co-circulation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza has made the partitioning of morbidity and mortality from each virus difficult. Given the interaction between chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and pneumonia, often one can be mistaken for the other. Multivariate time-series methodology was applied to examine the impact of RSV and influenza on hospital admissions for bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and COPD. The Granger Causality Test, used to determine the causal relationship among series, showed that COPD and pneumonia are not influenced by RSV (P=0.2999 and 0.7725), but RSV does influence bronchiolitis (P=0.0001). Influenza was found to influence COPD, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis (P<0.0001). The use of multivariate time series and Granger causality applied to epidemiological data clearly illustrates the significant contribution of influenza and RSV to morbidity in the population.

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