Background. Little is known about how chronic conditions other than prematurity, heart disease, and Down syndrome affect the risk and severity of hospitalization for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). We assess the risk and severity of RSV hospitalization in children with chronic conditions in this register-based, population-based cohort study.
Methods. Data on RSV tests, maternal smoking, siblings, single parenthood, mode of delivery, gestational age at birth, major surgery, asthma diagnosis, chronic conditions, and hospitalization and discharge dates were obtained from the Danish RSV database, the National Patient and Birth Registries, and the Civil Registration System.
Statistics. Cox regression models were used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for RSV hospitalization between groups stratified by sex and date of birth. Duration of RSV hospitalization was analyzed in a linear regression and reported as geometric mean ratios.
Results. A total of 391 983 children aged 0–23 months were included in the analysis. A total of 10 616 (2.7%) had a diagnosis for chronic disease. IRRs (95% confidence intervals) for RSV hospitalization in children with any congenital or acquired chronic condition were 2.18 (2.01–2.36) and 2.25 (1.94–2.61), respectively. Several new risk factors for RSV hospitalization, including malformations, interstitial lung disease, neuromuscular disease, liver disease, chromosomal abnormalities, congenital immunodeficiencies, and inborn errors of metabolism, were identified. Duration of RSV hospitalization was increased in many chronic conditions.
Conclusions. Chronic disease per se is an important risk factor for RSV hospitalization.