A study from the Netherlands suggests that elderly persons who receive a yearly influenza vaccination have reduced risk of death from all causes, according to a study in the November 3 issue of JAMA.
"Influenza-associated morbidity and mortality increase with age, especially for individuals with high-risk conditions," the authors provide as background information in the article. "The effectiveness of vaccination has been reported to decrease in high-risk persons. Annual influenza revaccination has been proposed as a strategy to increase vaccination effectiveness."
In this study, A.C.G. Voordouw, M.D., from Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues, analyzed data from 1996 through 2002 from electronic patient records that were part of the Integrated Primary Care Information Project of Medical Informatics at the Erasmus Medical Center. The study included 26,071 persons aged 65 years or older. During the total study period, the population studied received 62,476 influenza vaccinations. The annual vaccination coverage ranged from 64 percent in 1996 to 74 percent in 1999. Influenza epidemics during the study period were of mild to moderate severity with the 2000 – 2001 season showing no clear epidemic activity.
Bruno H. Ch. Stricker | EurekAlert!
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