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Objective: Influenza afflicts approximately 5% - 20%
of the US population annually. Although prevalence statistics are useful, they
are insufficient to understand completely influenza on a health care system.
This study estimated Nebraska’s annual hospitalization and comorbidity rates
due to influenza from 2007 to 2011. Methods: Influenza was defined according to
ICD-9-CM primary codes beginning with 487 or 488 in hospital discharge records.
The comorbidities of patients with influenza were defined according to ICD-9-CM
secondary diagnosis codes. Results: The highest yearly age-adjusted
hospitalization rates were 30.6 and 31.1 per 100,000 populations for 2008 and
2009, respectively. In 2008, the highest hospitalization rate was among those
aged 65 yrs and older; in 2009, the highest rate was among those younger than 5
yrs. Asthma was the most frequent comorbidity overall and among those younger
than 50 yrs. Conversely, hypertension and heart failure were the most frequent
comorbidities among those aged 50 yrs and older. Conclusion: These findings
provide a better understanding of the influenza burden and may contribute to
developing more effective influenza prevention strategies.