Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the primary cause of respiratory tract infections in infants; however, current burden estimates report only the short-term effects of acute infection.
Infants with RSV and ≥24 months continuous enrollment were retrospectively identified from the Truven MarketScan® database (01JAN2004-30SEP2015). Exposed infants (n=38,473) were propensity-score matched to non-exposed controls (n=76,825) by baseline characteristics and gestational age. 5-year cumulative all-cause, asthma/wheezing, and respiratory-related hospitalization, and physician and emergency room healthcare-resource utilization rates were assessed.
During follow-up, RSV cohorts had higher average all-cause cumulative hospitalization rates/100 patient years compared with controls; early premature, 79.9 (95% CI: 41.7, 118.2; P<.001; n=213), premature 18.2 (95% CI: 0.8, 35.7; P=.04; n=397), late premature 34.2 (95% CI: 29.1, 39.2; P<.001; n=4446), full-term 16.1 (95% CI, 14.9, 17.4; P<.001; n=33,417). Cumulative physician and emergency room visit rates were also higher for RSV infants. Asthma/wheezing accounted for 10-18% of total 5-year healthcare-resource utilization.
Infant RSV infection has a significant long-term healthcare-resource utilization impact for at least the following 5 years across gestational ages, mostly in the first 2 years following infection. Systematically collecting healthcare-resource utilization data will be important for cost-effectiveness evaluations of RSV interventions in planned or ongoing trials.