Defining the Incidence and Associated Morbidity and Mortality of Severe Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Among Children with Chronic Diseases
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INTRODUCTION: REGAL (RSV Evidence-a Geographical Archive of the Literature) has provided a comprehensive review of the published evidence in the field of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Western countries over the last 20 years. This review covers the risk and burden of RSV infection in children with underlying medical conditions or chronic diseases (excluding prematurity and congenital heart disease). METHODS: A systematic review of publications between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2015 across PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and Clinicaltrials.gov was supplemented by papers identified by the authors through March 2017. Studies reporting data for hospital visits/admissions for RSV infection as well as studies reporting RSV-associated morbidity and mortality were included. Study quality and strength of evidence (SOE) were graded. RESULTS: A total of 2703 studies were identified and 58 were included. Down syndrome, irrespective of prematurity and congenital heart disease (moderate SOE), immunocompromised children (low SOE), cystic fibrosis (low SOE), and neurologic conditions (low SOE) were associated with a significantly increased risk of RSV hospitalization. A number of other congenital malformations and chronic conditions were also associated with severe RSV disease (low SOE). In general, pre-existing disease was also a predisposing factor for RSV-related mortality (low SOE). CONCLUSION: Severe RSV infection in infants and young children with underlying medical conditions or chronic diseases poses a significant health burden. Further studies are needed to fully quantify the epidemiology, burden and outcomes in these populations, in particular RSV-attributable mortality.
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