• Effects of air pollution and other environmental exposures on estimates of severe influenza illness, Washington, USA

      Somayaji, R.; Neuzil, K.M.; Ortiz, J.R. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020)
      Ecologic models of influenza burden may be confounded by other exposures that share winter seasonality. We evaluated the effects of air pollution and other environmental exposures in ecologic models estimating influenza-associated hospitalizations. We linked hospitalization data, viral surveillance, and environmental data, including temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and fine particulate matter for 3 counties in Washington, USA, for 2001-2012. We used negative binomial regression models to estimate the incidence of influenza-associated respiratory and circulatory (RC) hospitalizations and to assess the effect of adjusting for environmental exposures on RC hospitalization estimates. The modeled overall incidence rate of influenza-associated RC hospitalizations was 31/100,000 person-years. The environmental parameters were statistically associated with RC hospitalizations but did not appreciably affect the event rate estimates. Modeled influenza-associated RC hospitalization rates were similar to published estimates, and inclusion of environmental covariates in the model did not have a clinically important effect on severe influenza estimates.