Flu vaccine linked to fewer hospital stays among COPD population

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who receive influenza vaccinations are less likely to be hospitalized for a flu-related illness, according to a study in Chest.

Researchers analyzed data patients with COPD, hospitalized with any acute respiratory illness or exacerbation between 2011 and 2015. All patients were tested for the flu.

Of 4,755 hospitalized patients with COPD, 88.3 percent had a known vaccination status. The study shows that patients who received the flu vaccine experienced a 38 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations as compared to unvaccinated patients.

"Initiatives to increase vaccination uptake and early use of antiviral agents among patients with COPD could reduce influenza-related hospitalization and critical illness and improve healthcare costs in this vulnerable population," study authors wrote.

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