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Epidemiological analysis of critically ill adult patients with pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in South Korea

  • S. B. HONG (a1), E. Y. CHOI (a1), S. H. KIM (a1), G. Y. SUH (a2), M. S. PARK (a3), M. G. LEE (a4), J. LIM (a1), H. K. LEE (a5), S. C. KIM (a6), S. J. KIM (a7), K. U. KIM (a8), S. H. KWAK (a9) and Y. KOH (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2012

A total of 245 patients with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza were admitted to the intensive-care units of 28 hospitals (South Korea). Their mean age was 55·3 years with 68·6% aged >50 years, and 54·7% male. Nine were obese and three were pregnant. One or more comorbidities were present in 83·7%, and nosocomial acquisition occurred in 14·3%. In total, 107 (43·7%) patients received corticosteroids and 66·1% required mechanical ventilation. Eighty (32·7%) patients died within 30 days after onset of symptoms and 99 (40·4%) within 90 days. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the clinician's decision to prescribe corticosteroids, older age, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and nosocomial bacterial pneumonia were independent risk factors for 90-day mortality. In contrast with Western countries, critical illness in Korea in relation to 2009 H1N1 was most common in older patients with chronic comorbidities; nosocomial acquisition occurred occasionally but disease in obese or pregnant patients was uncommon.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr Y. Koh, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Centre, University of Ulsan, 388-1, Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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