Estimating the burden of influenza-attributable severe acute respiratory infections on the hospital system in Metropolitan France, 2012-2018

Publié le 6 mars 2023
Mis à jour le 7 avril 2023

BACKGROUND: To date, estimating the burden of seasonal influenza on the hospital system in France has been restricted to influenza diagnoses in patients (estimated hospitalization rate of 35/100,000 on average from 2012 to 2018). However, many hospitalizations for diagnosed respiratory infections (e.g. pneumonia, acute bronchitis) occur without concurrent screening for virological influenza, especially in the elderly. Specifically, we aimed to estimate the burden of influenza on the French hospital system by examining the proportion of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) attributable to influenza. METHODS: Using French national hospital discharge data from 1/7/2012 to 30/6/2018, we extracted SARI hospitalizations with ICD-10 codes J09-J11 (influenza codes) in main or associated diagnoses, and J12-J20 (pneumonia and bronchitis codes) in main diagnoses. We estimated influenza-attributable SARI hospitalizations during influenza epidemics, as the number of influenza-coded hospitalizations plus the influenza-attributable number of pneumonia- and acute bronchitis-coded hospitalizations using periodic regression and generalized linear models. Additional analyses stratified by age group, diagnostic category (pneumonia and bronchitis), and region of hospitalization were performed using the periodic regression model only. RESULTS: The average estimated hospitalization rate of influenza-attributable SARI during the five annual influenza epidemics covered (2013-2014 to 2017-2018) was 60/100,000 with the periodic regression model, and 64/100,000 with the generalized linear model. Over the six epidemics (2012-2013 to 2017-2018), of the 533,456 SARI hospitalizations identified, an estimated 227,154 were influenza-attributable (43%). Fifty-six percent of cases were diagnosed with influenza, 33% pneumonia, and 11% bronchitis. Diagnoses varied between age groups: 11% of patients under 15 years old had pneumonia versus 41% of patients aged 65 and older. CONCLUSION: Compared to influenza surveillance in France to date, analyzing excess SARI hospitalizations provided a much larger estimate of the burden of influenza on the hospital system. This approach was more representative and allowed the burden to be assessed according to age group and region. The emergence of SARS-Cov-2 has led to a change in the dynamics of winter respiratory epidemics. The co-circulation of the three current major respiratory viruses (influenza, SARS-Cov-2, and RSV) and the evolution of diagnostic confirmation practices must now be taken into account when analyzing SARI.

Auteur : Bernadou Anne, Sommen C, Pivette M, Hubert B
BMC infectious diseases, 2023, vol. 23, n°. 1, p. 128