Hospitalisation associated with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and seasonal influenza in Hong Kong, 2005 to 2010

L. Yang, X. L. Wang, K. P. Chan, P. H. Cao, H. Y. Lau, J. S. Peiris, C. M. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Reliable estimates of the morbidity burden caused by the 2009 pandemic influenza (pH1N1) are important for assessing the severity of the pandemic. Poisson regression models were fitted to weekly numbers of cause-specific hospitalisation in Hong Kong from 2005 to 2010. Excess hospitalisation associated with the 2009 pandemic and seasonal influenza was derived from the model by incorporating the proxy variables of weekly proportions of specimens positive for the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, seasonal influenza A (subtypes H3N2 and H1N1) and B viruses. Compared with seasonal influenza, pH1N1 influenza was associated with higher hospitalisation rates for acute respiratory disease (ARD) among children younger than 18 years and adults aged between 18 and 64 years, but among the elderly aged 65 years and older the hospitalisation rates were lower for pH1N1 than for seasonal H3N2 and H1N1 influenza. Hospitalisation rates for chronic diseases associated with pH1N1 influenza were generally higher than those associated with seasonal influenza. The reported hospitalised cases with laboratory-confirmed pandemic infections accounted for only 16% of pH1N1 influenza-associated hospitalisations for ARD in the age group 75 years and older, and 5-66% of hospitalisations for chronic diseases in those older than 40 years. The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic was associated with a dramatically increased risk of hospitalisation among children and young adults. The morbidity burden of pandemic was underreported in old people and in those with chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Virology


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