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Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 May;94(21):e831. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000000831.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Bronchiolitis in Children up to 5 Years of Age in Spain: Epidemiology and Comorbidities: An Observational Study.

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From the Area of Preventive Medicine & Public Health (RG-P, CG-P, AGdM); Area of Medical Microbiology (AG-E); Area of Medical Immunology (PM-G); Catedra de Evaluación de Resultados en Salud, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain (RG-P, AG-E, PM-G, AGdM); Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de la Fundación Jiménez Díaz (RG-P, AG-E, PM-G, AGdM), Madrid, Spain.


This epidemiological survey in Spain estimates the burden of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in children up to 5 year of age during a 15-year period (1997-2011). Observational retrospective survey was conducted by reviewing data of the National Surveillance System for Hospital Data, including >98% of Spanish hospitals. All hospitalizations related to RSV infection for children up to 5 years, reported during 1997-2011 period, were analyzed. Codes were selected by using the International Classification of Diseases 9th Clinical Modification 466.0-466.19, 480.1, and 079.6. A total of 326,175 and 286,007 hospital discharges for children up to 5 and 2 years of age were reported during the study period. The annual incidence was 1072 and 2413 patients per 100,000, respectively. The average length of hospital stay was 5.7 (standard deviation 8.2) days. Four hundred forty-six deaths were reported; of those, 403 occurred in children <2 years and 355 (80%) occurred in children <12 months of age. Hospitalization and mortality rates were significantly higher in boys and decrease significantly with age. The higher rate of hospitalization and mortality rates were found in the first year of life. Annual average cost for National Health Care System was € 47 M with a mean hospitalization cost of €2162. The average length of hospitalization and costs were significantly higher in high-risk children. RSV infections in children up to 5 year of age still pose a significant health threat in Spain, especially in the infants. The development of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic guidelines focused in children with comorbidities may help reduce the hospital and economic burden of the disease.

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