This study analysed the role of several risk factors for hospitalization due to community-acquired, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. The risk factors detected in infants hospitalized for RSV infection in the first 24 months of life were compared with those in the general infant population in our region. There were 361 episodes of hospitalization in 357 infants. Eighty per cent of the infants did not present underlying conditions for severe RSV infection and only 10 (3%) were candidates for palivizumab prophylaxis. In multivariate analysis, birthweight of <2500 g was independently associated with hospitalization for RSV infection and was the most commonly detected medical risk factor. Other risk factors were maternal age at delivery <25 years, birth in the second half of the year, prematurity, suburban residence and congenital heart disease. In conclusion, together with well-known risk factors, we found that low birthweight was an independent factor for severe RSV infection.
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