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New Study Shows Increases in RSV Hospitalization among High-Risk Preterm Infants

Posted on: 05 Oct 16

AstraZeneca today announced new data demonstrating that respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization (RSVH) rates increased significantly during the 2014-2015 RSV season among US infants <3 months of age born at 29-34 weeks gestational age (wGA), as compared to the 2013-2014 season.1 RSV is a contagious, seasonal respiratory virus that can lead to a serious lung infection and hospitalization in high-risk babies, particularly preterm infants.2,3,4 These data are based on data from over 2.2 million US infants and represent the first and only analysis conducted using national US Medicaid and Commercial insurance claims databases to further understand the changes in both immunoprophylaxis (IP) utilization and RSVH rates. This research was presented as a poster (poster number J14) at the annual Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus meeting in National Harbor, MD.

Results showed that among <3 months old infants who were born at 29-34 wGA, RSVH rates increased by 170% and 40% within the commercial and Medicaid populations, respectively, during the 2014-2015 season when compared to the prior season.1

  • RSVH rates for <6 months old infants who were born at 29-34 wGA were 2-7 times higher than RSVH rates for <6 months old infants who were born full term in the 2014-2015 season.1

Dr. Leonard Krilov, pediatric infectious disease specialist, Winthrop-University Hospital, said: “RSV disease, a leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year of life in the United States, can be especially severe during the first few months of life, creating a significant burden on individual infants, their families and the health care systems who treat these vulnerable patients. These data emphasize the importance and risk of this disease in infants.”

IP use during the 2014-2015 season decreased by 45-94% and 65-95% among commercial and Medicaid populations, respectively, versus the 2013-2014 season.1 The results are based on data that evaluate independent changes in RSVH rates and IP utilization preceding and following the 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics guidance.

RSVH rates and increases of RSVH rates in the 2014-2015 RSV season were highest during the first three months in life for infants born at earlier gestational ages.1 Dr. Krilov said: “These data confirm that preterm infants – specifically those born at 29-34 wGA – are at an increased risk for hospitalization for severe RSV disease. Contributing new data to the scientific conversations among key industry stakeholders allows us to further the conversation around severe RSV disease both at this meeting and for future RSV seasons to come.”


About The Poster Presented at AMCP Nexus 2016 (poster number J14)

These dataare comprised of an analysis of both RSVH rates and IP utilization during the 2014-2015 RSV season versus the 2013-2014 RSV season. The study evaluated 1.7 million Medicaid and 1.5 million Commercial births from each respective database to assess outpatient IP use and RSVH occurrences between November 2014 and March 2015. 1.2 million Medicaid and 1.0 million commercial preterm and full-term infants without chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease were selected from the databases using DRG and ICD-9-CM codes. RSVH rates were calculated per 100 infant-seasons with Medicaid and Commercial database infants weighted by prevalence of US births. To adjust for seasonal variation, rate ratios for preterm infants were calculated relative to full-term infants.

About RSV

RSV is a contagious, seasonal respiratory virus that nearly all children will contract by the age of two and most will recover from within 1-2 weeks.2,3,4 In certain high-risk babies, however, RSV can lead to a serious lung infection and hospitalization.6,7 Preterm infants are at increased risk of developing severe RSV disease because their lung volume is significantly less than that of full-term infants, and their airways are smaller and narrower than those of a baby born at term.8

About Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Nexus 2016 Meeting

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2016 Meeting is being held from Monday, October 3rd to Thursday, October 6th in National Harbor, MD. AMCP Nexus 2016 provides an educational space for managed care professionals to discuss developments and issues in the managed care pharmacy space.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Respiratory and Autoimmunity, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, and Oncology. The company is also active in inflammation, infection and neuroscience through numerous collaborations. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


  1. McLaurin K, Pavilack M, Krilov L, Diakun D, Wade S, Farr A. Poster Number J14. Poster presented at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2016 Meeting, October 3-6 2016.
  2. Glezen WP, Taber LJ, Frank AL, Kasel JA. Risk of Primary Infection and Reinfection with Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Am J Dis Child. 1986; 140:543-546.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection and Incidence. Accessed June 26, 2015.
  4. Hall CB, Weinberg GA, Iwane MK, et al. The Burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Young Children. N Engl J Med. 2009; 360:588-598.
  5. Leader S, Kohlhase K. Respiratory syncytial virus-coded pediatric hospitalizations, 1997 to 1999. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002; 21: 629-632.
  6. Boyce TG, et al. Rates of hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus infection among children in Medicaid. J Pediatr. 2000; 137:865-70.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preterm Birth. Accessed June 26, 2015.
  8. Langston C, Kida K, Reed M, Thurlbeck WM. Human lung growth in late gestation and in the neonate. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984; 129:607-613.

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Last updated on: 05/10/2016

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