Spending time with children and congestive heart failure are associated with an increased risk for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections among adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a recent study.
The study, published in the June 2013 issue of COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, conducted a pooled analysis of data published in 2 previous studies to determine risk factors for developing serious RSV illness in adult patients with COPD. The 2 previous studies analyzed RSV infections in high-risk adults for 2 RSV seasons at most. The risk factors studied included age, sex, race, smoking status, exposure to children, home oxygen use, inhaled or oral steroid use, comorbid conditions, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. The researchers used logistic regression to identify significant risk factors for symptomatic and medically attended RSV infections.
A total of 379 COPD patients were included in the analysis, and 11% were diagnosed with symptomatic RSV infections. Approximately 47.6% of these adults with RSV infections required medical attention. In multivariate analyses, congestive heart failure and exposure to children were significantly associated with an increased risk for symptomatic RSV infections. For RSV infections severe enough to warrant medical attention, congestive heart failure was the only significant risk factor.
The authors of the study conclude that prospective studies are needed in the future to confirm exposure to children and congestive heart failure as risk factors and to identify other risk factors, including history of exacerbations, for RSV infections among adult COPD patients.