Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus infections in the oldest-old continent

Matteo Boattini, André Almeida, Eirini Christaki, Lourenço Cruz, Diogo Antão, Maria Inês Moreira, Gabriele Bianco, Marco Iannaccone, Georgios Tsiolakkis, Elina Khattab, Diamanto Kasapi, Lorena Charrier, Valentina Tosatto, Torcato Moreira Marques, Rossana Cavallo, Cristina Costa

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5 Citations (Scopus)


SARS-CoV-2 dramatically revealed the sudden impact of respiratory viruses in our lives. Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections are associated with high rates of morbidity, mortality, and an important burden on healthcare systems worldwide, especially in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to identify severity predictors in the oldest-old admitted with influenza and/or RSV infections. This is a multicenter, retrospective study of all oldest-old patients (≥ 85 years old) admitted for laboratory-confirmed influenza and/or RSV infection in three tertiary hospitals in Portugal, Italy, and Cyprus over two consecutive winter seasons. The outcomes included the following: pneumonia on infection presentation, use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV), and in-hospital death (IHD). The association with possible predictors, including clinical features and type of virus infection, was assessed using uni- and multivariable analyses. A total of 251 oldest-old patients were included in the study. Pneumonia was evident in 32.3% (n = 81). NIV was implemented in 8.8% (n = 22), and IHD occurred in 13.9% (n = 35). Multivariable analyses revealed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma was associated with pneumonia (OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.02–3.43; p = 0.045). COPD or asthma (OR 4.4; 95% CI 1.67–11.6; p = 0.003), RSV (OR 3.12; 95% CI 1.09–8.92; p = 0.023), and influenza B infections (OR 3.77; 95% CI 1.06–13.5; p = 0.041) were associated with NIV use, respectively, while chronic kidney disease was associated with IHD (OR 2.50; 95% CI 1.14–5.51; p = 0.023). Among the oldest-old, chronic organ failure, such as COPD or asthma, and CKD predicted pneumonia and IHD, respectively, beyond the importance of viral virulence itself. These findings could impact on public health policies, such as fostering influenza immunization campaigns, home-based care programs, and end-of-life care. Filling knowledge gaps is crucial to set priorities and advise on transition model of care that best fits the oldest-old.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2085-2090
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Early online dateJun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Geriatrics
  • Influenza
  • Oldest-old
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory syncytial virus


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