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COPD. 2013 Jun;10(3):293-9. doi: 10.3109/15412555.2012.744741. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus illness among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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MedImmune, LLC, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), although not typically considered an important pathogen in adults, may cause acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is unclear which COPD patients are at highest risk for developing serious RSV illness. Our objective was to identify risk factors for RSV illness among adult patients with COPD. We conducted a pooled analysis of data from COPD patients in 2 previously published longitudinal studies that examined RSV infection in high risk adults for ≤ 2 RSV seasons. Risk factors for RSV illness studied included age, sex, race, smoking status, exposure to children, home oxygen use, inhaled or oral steroid use, instrumental activities of daily living scores, and co-morbid conditions. Outcomes studied included symptomatic and medically attended RSV illness. Logistic regression was used to identify significant risk factors for RSV illness among older adults with COPD. Among 379 patients with COPD, the rate of symptomatic RSV illness was 11.1% (42/379); almost half (20/42) of whom required medical attention. In multivariable analyses, congestive heart failure (odds ratio [OR] = 4.18; 95% CI: 1.38, 12.69) and exposure to children (OR = 2.38; 95% CI: 1.03, 5.51) were risk factors for symptomatic RSV illness. Congestive heart failure (OR = 4.16; 95% CI: 1.02, 17.01) was the only significant risk factor for developing medically attended RSV illness. Exposure to children and congestive heart failure are risk factors for RSV illness among adult patients with COPD. Future prospective, well-designed studies are needed to corroborate these findings and examine other risk factors, including history of exacerbations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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