Acute myocardial infarctions, strokes and influenza: Seasonal and pandemic effects

Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
Epidemiology and Infection (Impact Factor: 2.54). 01/2013; 141(04):735-744. DOI: 10.1017/S0950268812002890
Source: PubMed


SUMMARY The incidence of myocardial infarctions and influenza follow similar seasonal patterns. To determine if acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs) and ischaemic strokes are associated with influenza activity, we built time-series models using data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. In these models, we used influenza activity to predict the incidence of AMI and ischaemic stroke. We fitted national models as well as models based on four geographical regions and five age groups. Across all models, we found consistent significant associations between AMIs and influenza activity, but not between ischaemic strokes and influenza. Associations between influenza and AMI increased with age, were greatest in those aged >80 years, and were present in all geographical regions. In addition, the natural experiment provided by the second wave of the influenza pandemic in 2009 provided further evidence of the relationship between influenza and AMI, because both series peaked in the same non-winter month.

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    • "Rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure was also related with increased incidence of acute myocardial infarction.28 In a study by Foster et al., a significant relationship was found between influenza and acute myocardial infarction, whereas this correlation was not seen in stroke.33 "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: During the wave 1 of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, Norway appeared to be suffering from high mortality rates. However, by the end of the pandemic, it was widely reported that the number of deaths were much lower than previous years. Objectives: The mortality burden from influenza is often assessed by two different approaches: counting influenza-certified deaths and estimating the mortality burden using models. The purpose of this study is to compare the number of reported deaths with results from two different models for estimating excess mortality during the pandemic in Norway. Additionally, mortality estimates for the pandemic season are compared with non-pandemic influenza seasons. Methods: Numbers on reported influenza A(N1h1)pdm09 deaths are gived by the Cause of Death Registry at Statistics Norway and an ad hoc registry at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Overall and Pnemumonia and Influenza certified mortality is modeled using Poission regression, adjusting for levels of reported influenza-like illness and seasonal and year-to-year variation. Results and conclusions: Modelling results suggest that the excess mortality in older age groups is considerably lower during the pandemic than non-pandemic seasons, but there are indications of an excess beyond what was reported during the pandemic. This highlights the benefits of both methods and the importance of explaining where these numbers come from.
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