H1N1 Update: Factors Associated with Deaths and Hospitalizations
Although patients hospitalized for 2009 H1N1 influenza infection are younger on average than those hospitalized for seasonal flu, people aged 50 and older have the highest death rates.
Researchers analyzed some 1100 cases who were hospitalized for, or had died from, pandemic influenza in California in the first 4 months of the outbreak. Among their principal findings, presented in the current JAMA:
- The median age of the cases was 27.
- Hospitalization rates were highest among infants under age 1 and lowest among the elderly.
- Case-fatality rates — at 11% overall — were highest among those 50 and older and lowest in children under 18.
- Two thirds had underlying medical conditions associated with severe disease, and over half were obese.