Impact of influenza exposure on rates of hospital admissions and physician visits because of respiratory illness among pregnant women

CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal De L'Association Medicale Canadienne
Linda DoddsNoni MacDonald

Abstract

Excess deaths have occurred among pregnant women during influenza pandemics, but the impact of influenza during nonpandemic years is unclear. We evaluated the impact of exposure during nonpandemic influenza seasons on the rates of hospital admissions and physician visits because of respiratory illness among pregnant women. We conducted a 13-year (1990-2002) population-based cohort study involving pregnant women in Nova Scotia. We compared rates of hospital admissions and physician office visits because of respiratory illness during the influenza season in each trimester of pregnancy with rates during the influenza season in the year before pregnancy and with rates in non-influenza seasons. Poisson regression analyses were performed to estimate rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Of 134,188 pregnant women in the study cohort, 510 (0.4%) were admitted to hospital because of a respiratory illness during pregnancy and 33,775 (25.2%) visited their physician for the same reason during pregnancy. During the influenza seasons, the rate ratio of hospital admissions in the third trimester compared with admissions in the year before pregnancy was 7.9 (95% CI 5.0-12.5) among women with comorbidities and 5.1 (95% CI 3.6-7.3) amo...Continue Reading

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